The Art of Innovation

The Art of Innovation

From Enlightenment to Dark Matter, as featured on Radio 4


Based on the landmark Radio 4 series, this beautifully illustrated modern history of the connections between science and art offers a new perspective on what that relationship has contributed to the world around us.

Throughout history, artists and scientists have been driven by curiosity and the desire to experiment. Both have wanted to make sense of the world around them, often to change it, sometimes working closely together, certainly taking inspiration from each other's disciplines. The relationship between the two has traditionally been perceived as one of love and hate, fascination and revulsion, symbiotic but antagonistic. But art is crucial to helping us understand our science legacy and science is well served by applying an artistic lens. How exactly has the ingenuity of science and technology been incorporated into artistic expression? And how has creative practice, in turn, stimulated innovation and technological change?

The Art of Innovation
is a history of the past 250 years viewed through the disciplines of art and science. Through fascinating stories that explore the sometimes unexpected relationships between famous artworks and significant scientific and technological objects - from Constable's cloudscapes and the chemist who first measured changes in air pressure, to the introduction of photography and the representation of natural history in print - it offers a new way of seeing, studying and interpreting the extraordinary world around us.


  • A timely and compelling history of the springs of thought.
    Melvyn Bragg

About the authors

Ian Blatchford

Sir Ian Blatchford is Director and Chief Executive of the Science Museum Group and Director of the Science Museum in London. Previously Ian was Deputy Director of the Victoria and Albert Museum. He was awarded the Pushkin Medal in 2015. In April 2017 Ian became Chairman of the National Museum Directors’ Council and in 2018 received a knighthood.
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Tilly Blyth

Dr Tilly Blyth is the Head of Collections and Principal Curator at the Science Museum in London, where she is responsible for the museum's Curatorial, Research, Library and Archives departments. Tilly is a member of BAFTA and a trustee of the Raspberry Pi Foundation, which aims to put the power of digital making into the hands of people all over the world.
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