Conversions: Sound and Sight, Military and Civilian

Cyrus C. M. Mody

in The Oxford Handbook of Sound Studies

Published in print December 2011 | ISBN: 9780195388947
Published online November 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

Conversions: Sound and Sight, Military and Civilian


Scholars in science and technology studies (STS) have long noted scientists' tendency of converting data into visual representations. This article provides an overview of the use of visualization and sonification in different fields of STS. Conversion to the visual provided a hook to mutually implicate vision and science as hallmarks of modernity. Visual representations became raw materials for art historical analyses of science and histories of objectivity. Sonification has found favor even among scientists whose work is primarily visual. In microelectronics, acoustic microscopy has been successfully applied to nondestructive inspection of integrated circuits. The final phase of acoustic microscopy took place in a postreconversion environment where engineers no longer faced such criticisms for doing basic research. Although successfully employed in some fields of physical sciences, such applications have not yet fully found their use in the field of life sciences.

Keywords: science and technology studies; visualization; sonification; acoustic microscopy; microelectronics

Article.  10564 words. 

Subjects: Music ; Sound Studies

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribeRecommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »