8 June, 2020, 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Manton Slides – or Other Ways of Looking at Nature

Nicola Williams, Steve French, Alice Murphy


All Welcome

Leeds-based botanist and microbiologist Irene Manton FRS (1904-88) was fascinated by art and collected a huge variety of both originals and prints, including works by Picasso, Matisse, Miro, Hokusai and Braque, and was especially interested in the cross-cultural influences between Western art and Japanese and Chinese art. She stated the collection of her works, once displayed in the University of Leeds’ Botany House, “should not be thought of primarily as fine art, but as working tools with which a scientist endeavours to comprehend certain aspects of the world which are not science”. But in what way can art cultivate insight? And, given the differences between artistic and scientific representations of the world, can it truly be said that art teaches us in a similar way to science? Irene Manton was particularly well known for her acute observations of botanical specimens, using the electron microscope. But what is the nature of observation in this case? How does it differ from observation with the naked eye? These are some of the questions addressed in this lecture, using examples from Manton’s life, work, botany and art.

Click here to watch Nicola Williams, Steve French and Alice Murphy explain more…

Then, if that fires your imagination and curiousity, why not join the online discussion group at 4pm Mon 8th June. For details of how to access the discussion group, please click here.

This lecture is the 16th in a series of 20 as part of a free online course offering an introduction to the History of Science by the Centre for History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Leeds.