Albert Einstein's name has become a synonym for genius: discoverer, educator, revolutionary and creative. From unbreakable scientific theories to persistent cultural icon, his impact on the world is (space-)timeless. Why?
A german-born physicist, he changed the world of physics in the early 1900s with his Theory of Relativity, which cracked open the smallest and biggest things in the universe, as well as producing the world’s most famous equation: E = MC2.
His work laid the basis for the release of atomic energy, he accelerated the development of technology and physics like no one since Isaac Newton 250 years previously – and he transcended science. His work impacted philosophy, arts, literature and culture.
Einstein won a Nobel Prize for Physics in 1921 for his explanation of the photoelectric effect, he rewrote the laws of nature, he shifted how the world understood light, gravity and time. And his distinctive look and individuality became iconic. The Einstein's Image is instantly recognisable.
What stood out was his determination to deconstruct big ideas or concepts and ask simple questions. The Theory of Relativity started with this thought: if you could ride a beam of light, what would the world look like? He said: "Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex… It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction."
In this fourth instalment of a five-part series on infinite influencers, Campaign talks to advertising execs to explore why Einstein remains synonymous with the word genius, why he remains as important as ever and how he can be a powerful force for brands.