Piercing the spheres of the heavens by eye and mind
Marco Piccolino and Nicholas J. Wade
Marco Piccolino, Professor of General Physiology, Center of Neurosciences of the University of Ferrara, Italy, and Nicholas J. Wade, Emeritus Professor, University of Dundee, UK
Marco Piccolino has taught of General Physiology and Science History at the University of Ferrara, Italy, and he is now member of the Center of Neuroscience of the same University. He is a neurophysiologist who has carried out important research in the physiology of the retina by publishing his results on the main international journals (Nature, Science, PNAS). He has written several books on the history of electrophysiology and sensory physiology, which are reference books in the field (particularly Rane, torpedini e scintille with Marco Bresadola, which will soon be published in an English edition by Oxford University Press; and (with Stanley Finger) The shocking history of electric fishes: from ancient epochs to the birth of modern neurophysiology, published in 2011 by Oxford University Press).
Nicholas Wade obtained his B.Sc. (1965) from Edinburgh University and his Ph.D. (1968) from Monash University, Australia. Following a postdoctoral fellowship (1969-1970) at the Max-Planck-Institute for Behavioural Physiology, Germany, he took a post at Dundee, where he has remained. His research is concerned with binocular vision, the history of vision research, and the interplay between visual science and visual art. He has published books in these areas, including: The Art and Science of Visual Illusions (1982), Brewster and Wheatstone on Vision (1983), Visual Allusions: Pictures of Perception (1990), A Natural History of Vision (1998), Perception and Illusion. Historical Perspectives (2005), The Moving Tablet of the Eye: The Origins of Modern Eye Movement Research (2005) and Circles: Science, Sense and Symbol (2007). He is also an exhibiting artist and combines his interest in the history of science and art by producing 'perceptual portraits' of figures in his field.