Sixty five years ago, post-war Europe was given economic aid from the United States under the Marshall Plan. Some would call it a form of propaganda.
There was also the National Geographic Magazine, a major source of hope for a colourful future made up of science and art. Now, the magazine’s National Geographic Society, in Washington DC, is celebrating its 125th anniversary – it remains one of the great links between science and art.
One of the best-known photographs was in June 1985 when S McCurry’s Afghan girl appeared on the front cover. Known to provide the highest standard of presentation and precision its scope was from photographs of nature in the wild to accurate up-to-date cartography. Every month a new map would be delivered within the familiar yellow covers of the magazine. In 1961, primatologist Jane Goodall was funded by the Society to study chimpanzees, in 2003 another project examined Egyptian mummies by CT scanner. Small reptiles contrast with mammoth tusks, and feats of human endeavour appear besides new exploration. The magazine continues to play these roles with science and art, to offer more high-quaity pictures and to connect by electronic media.