Why Einstein Matters, with Perimeter's Lee Smolin


2005 marks the 100th anniversary of what has become known as Einstein's Miracle Year. During a few brief months in 1905, an obscure 26-year-old patent clerk in Bern, Switzerland, published four extraordinary science papers that would change the laws of physics, and our ideas about the universe. That clerk was, of course, Albert Einstein.

By the time he received the Nobel Prize in 1921, he was already on his way to becoming the most famous and most recognizable scientist in the world - and perhaps ever. Today, a century after his Miracle Year, Einstein remains a cultural and scientific icon: his face adorning coffee mugs, screen savers, and T-shirts.

To mark the occasion, we brought together a panel of prominent scientists and science thinkers to answer the question of Why Einstein Matters. The discussion was held before an audience at the Osgoode Hall Law School of York University in Toronto.