Welcome to the Download page for the English language version of Agostino Scilla's book Vain Speculation Undeceived by Sense. The translation has been funded through an Arts Council England Designation Development Fund grant.

This translation is based on the Italian language first edition of 1670. Illustrations have been digitised from a copy of the first edition and from Scilla's original drawings held in the Sedgwick Museum Archive.

Extensive use of hyperlinks has been made throughout this publication; it may be necessary to reconfigure your reader to navigate hyperlinks. 

This eBook is an 'evaluation version', please send any comments or corrections to sedgwickmuseum@esc.cam.ac.uk with 'Scilla' as the subject heading.

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Historic fossils from Agostino Scilla’s collection within the Sedgwick Museum’s Woodwardian cabinets are currently on display in the Royal Society’s summer exhibition in London. Called ‘Science made Visible: Drawings, Prints, Objects’, the exhibit explores the questions of how and when science become visual; how drawings, diagrams and charts came to be used alongside words and objects; who made them and what made them scientific?




All the Museum and Department were very sad to hear of the death of former staff member Rod Long. Rod, Uncle Rod as he was affectionately known, was to many people the face of the Museum. Dave Norman, our long time Director, has kindly written his recollections of a man who, put simply, we all loved him for his friendly, helpful and kind nature.
Liz Harper