An early stage of the research was to understand how scientific visual languages developed. An article written for the online journal HARTS & Minds, in late 2016, attempted to trace this development and highlighted the existence of ‘visual paradigms’, the visual equivalent of Thomas Kuhn’s scientific paradigms.
The full text of the article, The Paradigmatic Evolution of Scientific Graphic Design, can be downloaded from this page of the HARTS & Minds website.
It should be noted that the term ‘scientific graphic design’ proved to be problematic, particularly for graphic designers, as its definition was never unambiguous and was often contentious. Subsequently, the term was replaced by the more pragmatic term ‘scientific conceptual figures’, although this term also has to be clearly defined for non-scientists. Despite this change in terminology, the main topic of the article – how scientific visual languages are created and develop – remains an integral part of the research as a whole.