Characterised by a concise style, made up of simple phrases that aim at clarity and scientific effectiveness, the brief introduction of The Chemical Basis of Morphogenesis by Alan Turing already includes all of the themes which will be discussed in detail in the following paragraphs of his text; at the same time, the author’s awareness that these topics require knowledge that may not be obvious to all readers also emerges. Such knowledge is then mentioned and briefly explained in several passages, as happens for example – in paragraphs not reported here – for some concepts related to the differential equations and the chemical reactions on which his model is based. Hence, the essay has several levels of reading, and, even in this case, it is the author himself who advises the reader which paragraphs to tackle and which to leave out on the basis of his scientific preparation, without losing the general sense of the discussion. This is the reason why this article leaves out mathematical formalisation, as well as the paragraphs that focus more in detail on the physical-chemical aspects. Instead, we have isolated the description of the model, the summary of the results obtained and the author’s conclusions, which contain the desired but unfinished developments of the work. This allows us to focus on the more general characteristics of the model and to appreciate its influence in different areas, above all from an aesthetic point of view, in different fields, therefore not only in physics and chemistry, but also in the theory of arts, architecture and design, in relation to particular artefacts for which, for example, adjectives such as ‘morphogenetic’, ‘parametric’ or ‘performative’ are used.

Matter Takes Shape. Intrinsic Forces and Stochastic Equilibria According to Alan Turing

Irene Cazzaro
2020

Abstract

Characterised by a concise style, made up of simple phrases that aim at clarity and scientific effectiveness, the brief introduction of The Chemical Basis of Morphogenesis by Alan Turing already includes all of the themes which will be discussed in detail in the following paragraphs of his text; at the same time, the author’s awareness that these topics require knowledge that may not be obvious to all readers also emerges. Such knowledge is then mentioned and briefly explained in several passages, as happens for example – in paragraphs not reported here – for some concepts related to the differential equations and the chemical reactions on which his model is based. Hence, the essay has several levels of reading, and, even in this case, it is the author himself who advises the reader which paragraphs to tackle and which to leave out on the basis of his scientific preparation, without losing the general sense of the discussion. This is the reason why this article leaves out mathematical formalisation, as well as the paragraphs that focus more in detail on the physical-chemical aspects. Instead, we have isolated the description of the model, the summary of the results obtained and the author’s conclusions, which contain the desired but unfinished developments of the work. This allows us to focus on the more general characteristics of the model and to appreciate its influence in different areas, above all from an aesthetic point of view, in different fields, therefore not only in physics and chemistry, but also in the theory of arts, architecture and design, in relation to particular artefacts for which, for example, adjectives such as ‘morphogenetic’, ‘parametric’ or ‘performative’ are used.
Irene Cazzaro
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/791273
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