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The aesthetics of scientific experiments

Ivanova, Milena (2021) The aesthetics of scientific experiments. [Preprint]

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This article explores the aesthetic dimensions of scientific experimentation, addressing specifically how aesthetic features enter the construction, evaluation and reception of an experiment. I highlight the relationship between experiments and artistic acts in the early years of the Royal Society where experiments do not serve only epistemic aims but also aim to generate feelings of awe and pleasure. I turn to analysing which aspects of experiments are appreciated aesthetically, identifying several contenders, from the ability of an experiment to uncover nature's beauty, to encapsulating original designs and human creativity. Following this analysis, I focus on the notion of beauty: what makes an experiment beautiful? Several common qualities are explored, from the simplicity and economy of the experiment, to the significance of the experimental results.

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Item Type: Preprint
Subjects: General Issues > Values In Science
Depositing User: Dr Milena Ivanova
Date Deposited: 29 Jun 2021 21:47
Last Modified: 29 Jun 2021 21:47
Item ID: 19249
Official URL:
Subjects: General Issues > Values In Science
Date: 2021

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