The (prospective) beauty of Beautiful Science

I’m a professional historian of science with an interest in data visualisation and the author of this blog. Ergo, I shall at some point be visiting the British Library’s exhibition Beautiful Science: Picturing Data, Inspiring Insight (although quite when that will happen I have yet to work out). When I do, if I have anything to say about it, I shall say it here.

In the meantime, I just wanted to note that, while nosing around the website to see if there was an exhibition publication (there isn’t), I hit upon the section of their online shop with tie-in products. Here, I am pleased to note, appears not only David McCandless’s Information is Beautiful, but also Cartographies of Time: A History of the Timeline by Daniel Rosenberg and Anthony Grafton – and now available in paperback. This splendid book is an excellent riposte to anyone who might suppose that data visualisation is a twentieth-century innovation, and serves equally well to rebut the claim that visualisation and history can have nothing to do with one another. I shall try to say something about it in a future post as well.

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