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Bridges and buildings, DNA, the periodic table, flora and fauna, machines, circuits, human beings and their societies, even thoughts and ideas—all can be understood as particular structures that are part of our experience of the world. Yet, the notion of structure, is far more intangible. Too often, the implication is of something rigid and complete, yet structure and the process of structuring can be both open and dynamic. These eight essays consider structure as an inclusive, open-ended theme offering itself to interpretation within many disciplines of the sciences, arts and humanities. Each contribution ponders and assesses the role of structure in a particular discipline by an author eminent in that field. In doing so, the essays become acts of "structuring structure," true to the rich, dynamic nature of the topic.
Introduction Wendy Pullan; 1. The structure of life Simon Conway Morris; 2. Models of structure A. H. Cottrell and D. G. Pettifor; 3. The body in space: structures in dance Shobana Jeyasingh; 4. The structures of landscape John Dixon Hunt; 5. Microscopic structure: minerals, gemstones and their derivatives and applications John Meurig Thomas; 6. Engineering structures: why do they fail? John Knott; 7. The structure of conflict Mary Caldor; 8. The structure of the imagination: darkness visible in the mind's eye Marina Warner; Notes on contributors; Acknowledgements; Index.