Monique Sicard

The Making of the Image Publication date : November 1, 1998

It was during the Renaissance that images and pictures were first used by anatomists, microscopists, and astronomers as scientific tools. In that era, scientific images served as a kind of inventory of the known world. In the 19th century, the popularization of scientific ideas gave science a new vigor. Photographic images gave science a new reality, explaining and legitimizing scientific concepts--movement, for example--to a fascinated public. In our days, the scientific image is often a construction--helping us to represent objects and ideas that, like fractals or black holes, cannot be defined through actual observation.

Monique Sicard is Projects Director at CNRS Images Média. She specializes in the history of the scientific image during the 19th and 20th centuries.