Making the indiscernible visible: Robert Hooke’s Micrographia

Very interesting post by The Renaissance Mathematicus on Robert Hooke and the question of (in)visibility in the mid seventeenth century.

The Renaissance Mathematicus

The seventeenth century polymath Robert Hooke, who was born 17th  18th July 1635, is a complex and problematic figure in the history of science. Undoubtedly immensely talented and endlessly ingenious he did fascinating work in a vast number of different directions. However in spreading his interest and abilities over so many different fields he seems never to have produced any real major developments in any of them and so remained a minor figure in the pantheon of scientific gods. There are those of his fan club who argue that he was a victim of Newton’s enmity and had he not been sabotaged by his evil and all-powerful rival, he would have got the recognition he deserves. This argument suffers from two problems. Firstly it was Hooke who attacked Newton, not once but twice, and not the other way round. Secondly his scientific work is known to us and whilst…

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About Jose Ramon Marcaida

I’m a historian of science interested in the history of early modern Iberian science and its connection with Renaissance and Baroque visual culture. More generally, I’m interested in the relation between texts, images and things across the Humanities.
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