Professor Sachiko Kusukawa

Fellow in History and Philosophy of Science
Trinity College

My research specialism is in history of science, cultural and intellectual history, and the history of the book.  I have published on Protestant natural philosophy,  university textbooks and libraries, and visual arguments in illustrated scientific books.

Recent research has focused on the observational, descriptive and pictorial practices in the development and production of scientific knowledge in the early modern period (1500-1720). My work on visual arguments in sixteenth-century botanical and anatomical works  has resulted in a monograph (Picturing the book of nature, University of Chicago Press, 2012).

I was a co-investigator in the AHRC-funded research project on 'Diagrams, figures and the transformation of astronomy 1450-1650' (Dept of History and Philosophy of Science, Cambridge), which examined the function of astronomical figures and diagrams in early modern astronomy (, and Principal Investigator of an international network, 'Origins of Science as a  Visual Pursuit: the case of the early Royal Society' also funded by the AHRC ( I am now directing a research project on the pictorial practices of the early Royal Society (AHRC) through CRASSH (

An on-line exhibition at Cambridge University Library I have curated to commemorate the quincentennial anniversary of the birth of the physician, Andreas Vesalius, 'Vivitur ingenio', is at A BBC news item featuring the exhibition:

I supervise undergraduates in early modern European history (paper 16), and contribute to Professor Ulinka Rublack's The uses of the visual in early modern Germany. I also teach history of science in the Natural Sciences Tripos (second- and third-year students). I am happy to supervise dissertation topics on early modern science and medicine (1450-1700).

Editorial Board, Annals of Science, Early Science and Medicine, Historia Scientiarum, Notes and Records of the Royal Society


Tags & Themes

Key Publications


  • Picturing the book of nature: Image, text and argument in sixteenth-century human anatomy and medical botany (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2012) [].
  • with A. R. Cunningham. Natural philosophy epitomised: Books 8-11 of Gregor Reisch's Philosophical Pearl (1503). Aldershot: Ashgate, 2010. []
  • The Transformation of Natural Philosophy: the case of Philip Melanchthon. Ideas in Context. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995.
  • A Wittenberg University Library Catalogue of 1536. Libri Pertinentes. Cambridge: LP Publications, 1995. 

Edited Books

  • with I. Maclean, eds. Transmitting Knowledge: Words, Images and Instruments in Early Modern Europe. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006.
  • Ed. Philip Melanchthon, Orations on Philosophy and Education, trans. C. F. Salazar. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999.
  • with C. Blackwell, eds., Philosophy in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries: Conversations with Aristotle. Aldershot: Ashgate, 1999.

Recent articles