Einstein’s Greatest Mistake (18 April 2017)

Creativity in Changing Times

There are many great minds, but Einstein is in a class above almost all others: up there with Newton, Da Vinci, Bach, and perhaps the greatest genius of all time.

In this talk the esteemed writer David Bodanis looks at how Einstein’s creativity appeared: how it was sustained by humour and religion; how much it depended on his unusual career path as well.

David explores the profound mistake Einstein made at the peak of his powers which would tear apart his life, and lead to decades of near isolation.

Einstein was the greatest genius of our time – perhaps of all time – but he was also a human being, and his mistake was not a scientific but a very human one, something that could happen to us all.

This fascinating story encompasses Einstein’s theory of relativity – made accessible to the general reader – as well as exploring the numerous facets of the great man’s life, and holds many lessons for those keen to learn from the mistakes of a genius.

There are insights for all of us on how to rev up, and how to know when you’re in the right field; notes on what happens when we get stuck and how hard it is even for great minds to get away from such mistakes.

He’ll also touch on what it’s like writing a book about such a man and be signing hardback 1st edition copies for you each to take away.

Our speaker: David Bodanis

David Bodanis is a polymath US national now living in London. He studied mathematics, physics and history at the University of Chicago, then conceived and taught the “Intellectual Tool-Kit: A Survey of Social Science” series at Oxford University for most of the 1990s.

David has worked in the Shell Scenarios team between 2000-2003; since 2004 he has been a freelance writer, foreign correspondent, broadcaster, consultant (most recently preparing a report on the future of High Frequency Trading for the UK Treasury) and futurist.

His several books have done well, with ‘E=mc2’ selling over a million copies and is published in 24 languages; it has been written into a PBS drama-documentary and into a ballet at Sadler’s Wells theatre winning the award for ‘Best Dance of the Year’ 2010.

Most recently ‘Einstein’s Greatest Mistake’ – David’s book from last year has been named ‘Science Book of the Year’ by the Sunday Times, and is set to be translated for global exposure.

A regular and high-profile speaker, businesses have been especially interested in spin-offs from his books dealing with issues of creativity, learning, and effective team operation. Very recently David has been a regular speaker at Goldman Sachs in New York, an invited speaker at Google HQs in both the UK and US, at Adobe, Microsoft, WPP, Mishcon de Reya, and General Dynamics.

Please note: The ticket price includes a signed 1st edition hardback copy of David’s book ‘Einstein’s Greatest Mistake; The Life of a Flawed Genius’