Travelling Scientist, Circulating Images and the Making of the Modern Scientific Journal

Norman Lockyer’s Visual Communication of Astrophysics in Nature

In: Nuncius
Charlotte Bigg CNRS, Centre Alexandre Koyré, Paris, France

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The early astrophysicist Norman Lockyer was both editor of the journal Nature from its creation in 1869 and for the following five decades, and an early practioner of the new astronomy. He frequently used the journal to expound his scientific theories, report on his work and send news home while on expeditions. I look into the particular visual culture of astrophysics developed by Lockyer in Nature, its evolution at a time of rapid development both of the techniques of astrophysical observation and visualization and of the techniques of image reproduction in print. A study of the use and reuse of visual materials in different settings also makes it possible to sketch the circulating economy of Lockyer’s images and the ways in which he put himself forward as a scientist, at a time when he was advocating the State support of research and scientists and helping create the modern scientific journal.

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