It is hard to imagine a time when Albert Einstein’s name was not recognised around the world.
But even after he finished his theory of relativity in 1915, he was nearly unknown outside Germany – until British astronomer Arthur Stanley Eddington became involved.
Einstein’s ideas were trapped by the blockades of the Great War, and even more by the vicious nationalism that made “enemy” science unwelcome in the UK.
But Einstein, a socialist, and Eddington, a Quaker, both believed that science should transcend the divisions of the war.
It was their partnership that allowed relativity to leap the trenches and make Einstein one of the most famous people on the globe.
I hadn’t heard this story before, and it’s well-worth a read.