Beautiful Evidence

by Edward Tufte. Graphics Press, 2006 ($52)

"Science and art," according to Tufte, "have in common intense seeing, the wide-eyed observing that generates empirical information." This book is about how that seeing turns into showing. Tufte, professor emeritus at Yale University and author of three previous widely praised books on visual evidence, displays outstanding examples of the genre. One of the most arresting is Galileo's series of hand-drawn images of sunspots. A colleague of Galileo, the author tells us, said that the astronomer's drawings "delight both by the wonder of the spectacle and the accuracy of expression." That, Tufte says, is beautiful evidence.



Requiem for a Heavyweight

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