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Borrowing from the elegant visual style of the German-born Swiss naturalist, entomologist and botanical artist Maria Sibylla Merian (1647-1717), this animation celebrates her many notable contributions to the natural sciences in an age when such work was widely considered the domain of men. A dedicated observer of plants and insects in particular, two of her many achievements include helping to dispel the once widely held belief that insects spontaneously emerge from dust, mud or rotten meat, and observing metamorphosis in rich detail. And 300 years after her death, her seminal book, The Metamorphosis of the Insects of Suriname (1705), which depicts insects and plants in the jungles of South America, is still considered one of the most beautiful and groundbreaking entomology books ever assembled, with editions of the pioneering work being reprinted as recently as 2010.
Demography and migration
How the world’s harshest lockdown hit India’s millions of migrant workers
Edward Hopper came of age with cinema. As an artist, he left a lasting mark on it
The ancient world
What did the Rosetta Stone’s inscription actually communicate?
Why making if-then connections might be the key to consciousness
The cast of ‘misfit toys’ who keep life on an idyllic tourist island afloat
Biography and memoir
What Akiko saw at the centre of the Hiroshima blast, and the indelible mark it left
To understand the limits of human senses, look to the wild world of animal cognition
Design and fashion
From sheep to sea – an ode to the iconic sweater that warms Cornish sailors
The revolutionary artist who propelled the Black Panther movement with imagery