The popular reception of relativity in Britain

View The popular reception of relativity in Britain The Popular Reception of Relativity

Presenter: Katy Price

Published: July 2013

Age: 14-19 and upwards

Views: 642 views

Tags: Einstein

Type: Lectures

Source/institution: Royal Society

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How did it feel to open a newspaper in November 1919 to be greeted by headlines about ‘Light Caught Bending’ and a ‘Revolution in Space and Time’? Einstein’s relativity reached a wide public audience in the context of social change. The theory’s intense difficulty and abstraction could not prevent it from becoming tangled up with the aftermath of war, rising Labour power, new media technologies of cinema and radio, and changing sex relations. Journalists, science writers and authors of popular fiction rose to the challenge of negotiating the significance of this new theory ‘which everybody is talking about and nobody understands.’