How DNA’s spirals help us understand the shape of life

From 19th-century croquet-ball representations of molecules to the double helix structure ubiquitous today, images have always been central to our understanding of science. Charlotte Sleigh explores the reciprocal roles of imagery and scientific innovation in visualising new discoveries.

Words by Charlotte Sleigh

  • In pictures

About the author

Head and shoulders photo of a woman with short, fair hair, against a background of hills and fields.

Charlotte Sleigh

Charlotte Sleigh is an interdisciplinary writer and practitioner in the science humanities. Her most recent book is ‘Human’ (Reaktion, 2020). She is Honorary Professor at the Department of Science and Technology Studies, UCL, and current president of the British Society for the History of Science.