Leonardo da Vinci, Studies of the Shoulder and Neck,
Studies of the Shoulder and Neck, one of many sketches produced by Leonardo da Vinci, resonates with this course at several levels. First, it is the use of the media of writing and drawing for the work of science. The sketch is not only a way to record and report science; it is part and parcel of the work of a scientist. That is, science proceeds discursively through symbolic action.
Second, the sketch becomes a way (perhaps, here, unintentionally) that the fruits of scientific labor become public: the sketch is the use of media to broadcast and tune into science. As an audience, we can begin to understand the science (the biology and the physics) of the body through such mixed-media compositions as this sketch.
Third, the image itself serves as a guiding metaphor for science writing: articulation. This sketch is a study the shoulder and of the articulation of the arm and the neck. The shape and movement of the human body is a function of such articulations. Articulations are thus generative of movement. Likewise, rather than seeing science writing as the simple transmission of science, or as the translating of science for non-experts, this course views science writing as articulation, as, in part, the generation of scientific knowledge. The science writer participates, alongside scientists, in the articulation of science—the piecing together of data. Each articulation, each connection, produces new knowledge.