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Society for the History of Natural History


Awards, Honours and Medals

The Patron's Review


The Patron’s Review

The Patron’s Review, in association with the Society’s patron Sir David Attenborough OM CH FRS, is an opportunity for an outstanding young scholar, nominated by Council, and invited by the Society’s Patron to write a review that advances the Society’s objects, namely “the historical and bibliographical study of the growth of all branches of natural history in all periods and cultures”.


The Inaugural Patron’s Review

The inaugural Patron’s Review entitled “The role of images in the development of Renaissance natural history” by Dr Sachiko Kusakawa of Trinity College, Cambridge was published in October 2011 in Archives of natural history 38 part 2.

By December 21 2011, the Patron’s Review was the second most frequently downloaded paper published in Archives of natural history although only published online in September 2011.

Dr Sachiko Kusakawa is interested in the observational, descriptive and pictorial practices in the development and production of scientific knowledge in the early modern period (1500-1720). She is co-investigator to an AHRC-funded research project on ‘Diagrams, figures and the transformation of astronomy 1450-1650’ www.hps.cam.ac.uk/diagrams/. She has completed a monograph on illustrations in botanical and anatomical works in the sixteenth century (Picturing the book of nature, Chicago University Press, 2011) and is now working on the drawings of the early Royal Society (particularly by Richard Waller) and the function of images in the Philosophical Transactions. Dr Kusakawa lectures on the history of science in the early modern period and occasionally lectures in the Dept of the History and Philosophy of Science, Cambridge University.

Selected Publications include:

  • Image, text and “observatio”: the Codex Kentmanus. Early Science and Medicine 14-4 (2009):445-475.
  • The uses of pictures in the formation of learned knowledge: the cases of Leonhard Fuchs and Andreas Vesalius’, in Transmitting Knowledge: Words, Images, and Instruments in Early Modern Europe, edited by S. Kusukawa and I. Maclean, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006, 73-96.
  • The Historia Piscium (1686)’, Notes and Records of the Royal Society 54 (2000):179-197.
  • The Transformation of Natural Philosophy: the case of Philip Melanchthon, Ideas in Context. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995.