Beauty challenges conventional approaches to the subject through an interdisciplinary approach that forges connections between the arts, sciences and mathematics. Classical, conventional aspects of beauty are addressed in subtle, unexpected ways: symmetry in mathematics, attraction in the animal world and beauty in the cosmos. This collection arises from the Darwin College Lecture Series of 2011 and includes essays from eight distinguished scholars, all of whom are held in esteem not only for their research but also for their ability to communicate their subject to popular audiences. Each essay is entertaining, accessible and thought-provoking and is accompanied by images illustrating beauty in practice. Contributors include the artist Jose Hernandez, Nobel Prize Laureate Frank Wilczek, Lord May of Oxford and Jeanne Altmann (Eugene Higgins Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Princeton University).
Lauren Arrington is Lecturer in Literature at the institute of Irish Studies, University of Liverpool. She held the Adrian Research Fellowship in English at Darwin College from 2008 to 2009. Her research is focussed on late nineteenth- and twentieth-century literature and history. Zoe Malka Leinhardt is a planetary astrophysicist researching the formation of planets. She is currently an STFC Advanced Fellow in the School of Physics at the University of Bristol. Philip Dawid is a Fellow of Darwin College and Professor of Statistics at the University of Cambridge. He holds the Snedecor Award for Best Publication in Biometry, the DeGroot Prize for a Published Book in Statistical Science and the Royal Statistical Society's Guy Medals in Bronze and Silver. His research focuses on general principles of reasoning from evidence, both statistical evidence and more general forms.
Introduction: beauty, truth and the sublime Lauren Arrington, Zoe Leinhardt and Philip Dawid; 1. Beauty and truth Robert May; 2. Beauty and the grotesque Jose Hernandez; 3. Quantum beauty Frank Wilczek; 4. The sound of beauty Elizabeth Eva Leach; 5. Beauty and attraction: in the 'eye' of the beholder Jeanne Altmann; 6. Beauty and happiness: Chinese perspectives Jason Kuo; 7. Terror by beauty: Russo-Soviet perspectives Evgeny A. Dobrenko; 8. The science and beauty of nebulae Carolin Crawford.