© CNRS Images/media 2001

Reality and representation





Production year



Original material



Scientific images only have meaning in the context of the processes and purposes for which they are created. What happens to these images when they appear in magazines or films, taken out of their original context? Who speaks through these images and what do they say to us?The first part of the film is devoted to the production of scientific images in a research context. The different images of atoms produced by electron microscopy, near field scanning microscopy, and mathematical modeling, are used to illustrate the difficulty of interpreting images.The second part of the film discusses the dissemination of these images and the relations between researchers and the media (journalists, directors, computerized image creators, etc.), illustrated with the images they process and manipulate. The author of the film attempts to determine the purposes of these performances of the show of science.

Scientific topics

CNRS Images,

Our work is guided by the way scientists question the world around them and we translate their research into images to help people to understand the world better and to awaken their curiosity and wonderment.