Watercolour study of knapweed and cornflower by Richard Waller (d. 1715). © Royal Society Archives, MS/131/40

Making Visible is an AHRC funded research project at the Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities at the University of Cambridge.

The aim of this project is to understand the roles visual resources and practices played in the development and dissemination of scientific knowledge in the first fifty years of the Royal Society.

How and when did science become visual? How did drawings, diagrams and charts come to be used alongside words and objects by a group of people who hoped to reform and establish a new form of knowledge of nature, based on collaboration, experimentation and observation in the second half of the 17th century? Who made those drawings and diagrams, and what made them ‘scientific’?

The project proposes to examine the roles the early Royal Society played in the emergence of a scientific visual culture in the early modern period.