Popular Science

A lecture by Martin Reinhart

Images of science permeate our everyday reality and thereby constitute our perception of the world. A very prominent example illustrates the profound and lasting effect that some of these images can have over several generations: Lennart Nilsson’s world-famous photo of a thumb-sucking foetus, which seemingly floats in space, has not lost any of its popularity since it was first published in 1965. Reproduced a million times over, it has been an integral part of our society’s pictorial repertoire ever since. However, the important sociopolitical impact this image once had has today vanished from the collective consciousness.