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Beautiful Science Exhibition at the British Library

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by Bastion Harrison (subscribe)
Freelance writer and poet from London; if you would like to read my poetry, please check out my book, 'Poems on the Page', available from
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Picturing Data, Inspiring Insight
beautiful science, british library, picturing data, inspiring insight
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When I was at school I always looked forward to art lessons and always dreaded physics class. Both required hunching over tables on tall stools with a pencil in one hand and a rubber in the other, but there was no doubt which was the more enjoyable activity.

I must admit that I was pretty useless at both activities, but even if I couldn't draw, it was a lot more fun than number crunching and trying to make sense of odd looking symbols.

Then again, without all those mathematical charts, graphs, and calculations, there would be no art. At first the cold objectiveness of maths and science could not seem further away than the warmth of expression found in art, but in reality they are inextricably linked. Anyone who ever owned a Spirograph kit as a child are sure to realise this; using rings, rulers, and pens, you could create amazing looking designs.

Delving deeper into the connection between art and science, The British Library are putting on a Beautiful Science exhibition between the 20th February - 26th May. Free to visit, Picturing Data, Inspiring Insight explores our understanding of the world through graphs and maps. It includes John Snow's plotting of the 1854 London cholera infections to a colourful tree of life. You can learn more by attending talks and workshops. The British Library's digital research team will ask 'is ugly the new smart?', while scientists question the patentability of biomedical developments. There will also be children's activities on Family Discovery Day and a Festival of the Spoken Nerd.
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Why? Learn something interesting
When: 20th Feb - 26th May
Phone: 44 (0)1937 546060
Where: British Library
Cost: Free
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