Northwestern University

Mon 4:00 PM

SHC Klopsteg Lecture: PAULA FINDLEN

When: Monday, April 3, 2017
4:00 PM - 5:30 PM  

Where: University Hall, Hagstrum Room, UH 201, 1897 Sheridan Road, Evanston, IL 60208 map it

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Student - Public - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students


Contact: Natasha O Dennison   847.491.3525

Group: Science in Human Culture Program

Category: Lectures & Meetings

More Info


PAULA FINDLEN: History, Stanford University

“Projecting Nature: Agostino Scilla's Fossil Illustrations”

Description: What can an image tell us about nature? Agostino Scilla’s Vain Speculation Undeceived by Sense (1670) has been the subject of a growing discussion as an important contribution to the development of a new understanding of the nature of fossils as a record of the earth’s history in the mid-seventeenth century. The fact that Scilla was a painter who drew his own illustrations from his collection in Messina, subsequently engraved by the Perugian artist Pietro Santi Bartoli in Rome, makes his work even more interesting for understanding the evolution of scientific illustrations and diagrams. This talk explores some of the unique features of Scilla’s representations of fossils as key element of the significance of his contribution to natural history. What inspired his new approach to depicting fossils? How might we see this as an example of visual thinking?


Paula Findlen is Ubaldo Pierotti Professor of Italian History and Chair of the History Department at Stanford University. She co-founded the Center for Medieval and Early Modern Studies and has directed the Suppes Center for the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology. Her research and teaching focuses on the early history of science and medicine as well as an understanding of the Italian Renaissance world and its ramifications beyond the Renaissance.

Professor Findlen has received fellowships from the ACLS, NEH, American Philosophical Society, Delmas Foundation, Stanford Humanities Center, Getty Center, Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, and Guggenheim. Her publications include Possessing Nature: Museums, Collecting and Scientific Culture in Early Modern Italy (1994), which received the Howard Marraro Prize in Italian History (1995) and the Pfizer Prize for best book in History of Science (1996). Other publications include Merchants and Marvels: Commerce, Science, and Art in Early Modern Europe (2002), Athanasius Kircher: The Last Man Who Knew Everything (2004), Italy's Eighteenth Century (2009), and more recently Early Modern Things (2013) and Birds, Other Animals, and Natural Curiosities. The Paper Museum of Cassiano dal Pozzo, series B, Natural History vol. 4-5 (2017). She has also been awarded the Nelson Prize from the Renaissance Society of America (1990), the Derek Price Prize for the best article in the history of science (1995) and the Margaret Rossiter Prize for the history of women in science (2004).

Professor Findlen is the 2016 recipient of the Premio Galileo for her contributions to understanding Italian culture. Her essays have appeared regularly in The Nation.

reception to follow

Add Event to Calendar

Add Event To My Group:

Please sign-in