Cloth $90.00 ISBN: 9780226068206 Published November 2013
Paper $30.00 ISBN: 9780226068480 Published November 2013
E-book $7.00 to $30.00 About E-books ISBN: 9780226068343 Published November 2013

Science from Sight to Insight

How Scientists Illustrate Meaning

Alan G. Gross and Joseph E. Harmon

Alan G. Gross and Joseph E. Harmon

344 pages | 92 halftones, 46 line drawings | 6 x 9 | © 2013
Cloth $90.00 ISBN: 9780226068206 Published November 2013
Paper $30.00 ISBN: 9780226068480 Published November 2013
E-book $7.00 to $30.00 About E-books ISBN: 9780226068343 Published November 2013
John Dalton’s molecular structures. Scatter plots and geometric diagrams. Watson and Crick’s double helix. The way in which scientists understand the world—and the key concepts that explain it—is undeniably bound up in not only words, but images. Moreover, from PowerPoint presentations to articles in academic journals, scientific communication routinely relies on the relationship between words and pictures. In Science from Sight to Insight, Alan G. Gross  and Joseph E. Harmon present a short history of the scientific visual, and then formulate a theory about the interaction between the visual and textual. With great insight and admirable rigor, the authors argue that scientific meaning itself comes from the complex interplay between the verbal and the visual in the form of graphs, diagrams, maps, drawings, and photographs. The authors use a variety of tools to probe the nature of scientific images, from Heidegger’s philosophy of science to Peirce’s semiotics of visual communication. Their synthesis of these elements offers readers an examination of scientific visuals at a much deeper and more meaningful level than ever before.  
Bob Grant | The Scientist
“Too often scientific images are treated as afterthoughts . . . . Without imagery, science loses at least half of its meaning. The authors construct their theory regarding the importance of the interplay between visual and textual information in science using raw material mined from psychology, phenomenology, and other disciplines—all with the goal of demarginalizing science imagery.”
S. E. Wiegand, Saint Mary’s College | Choice
“Beyond aesthetics, scientific illustration must effectively communicate factual information in a clear and visually compelling way. Gross and Harmon present their extended insight that scientific images have epistemic importance, using well-supported reasoning, illustrations, and examples ranging from Socrates, da Vinci, and Shakespeare to Heidegger and McLuhan. . . . An intriguing exploration of ideas. Recommended.”
Society for Technical Communication
"Extensive research and sophisticated discussions."
Jeanne Fahnestock | University of Maryland

Science from Sight to Insight addresses a question identified by scholars across the science studies spectrum: What role do visuals play in the formation and communication of scientific arguments? Gross and Harmon address this question with a theory of visualization in science rooted in philosophy, psychology, and semiotics, and they illustrate their theory in a fascinating sampling of cases that display their command of the history of science communication and of close reading practices. The book is a major contribution on a critically important subject.”

Don Ihde | Stony Brook University and author of Expanding Hermeneutics: Visualism in Science
“Modern science transforms the world as picture, claimed Martin Heidegger. Gross and Harmon take this insight and trace it through multiple sciences, disciplines, and historical examples showing how science uses words and images, verbal and visual interactivity for its powers of insight. This book is a tour-de-force which has reaped lessons from recent science studies and is a must read.”
Maria E. Gigante, Western Michigan University | Rhetoric Society Quarterly
"Gross and Harmon tackle a subject of great importance to scholars of scientific discourse across disciplinary boundaries: the role of visuals in scientific arguments. . . . Gross and Harmon’s addition to science studies with this book, ambitious in its scope and meticulous in its analyses, cannot be over-estimated."
Introduction: Verbal- Visual Interaction in Science

1. A Framework for Understanding Verbal- Visual Interaction
2. Understanding Scientifi c Visuals and Tables: A Taxonomy
3. Visual Evolution and the Heideggerian Transformation
4. Verbal- Visual Interaction and Scientifi c Argument: The Contexts of Discovery and Justifi cation
5. Visual Argument and Narrative in the “Historical” Sciences: The Example of Geology
6. Verbal- Visual Interaction in the Victorian Discovery of Deep Time
7. The Public Science Lecture: PowerPoint Transforms a Genre
8. Weaving the Web of Scientifi c Knowledge: Visuals on the Internet

For more information, or to order this book, please visit
Google preview here

Chicago Manual of Style |

Chicago Blog: History and Philosophy of Science

Events in History and Philosophy of Science

Keep Informed

JOURNALs in History and Philosophy of Science