chapter  4
14 Pages

The emotional lives of fledgling geniuses

BySTEVE ALSOP

If asked to name a genius, a number of scientists spring to mind, perhaps Albert Einstein, Rachel Carson, Isaac Newton and Rosalind Franklin. Albert Einstein, it seems, resides someway in popular culture as the archetypical genius; a gifted individual with advanced cognitive abilities combined with a social ineptitude. Of course one should be extremely mindful of icons. The stereotypical image of Einstein, while grossly oversimplified, has the potential to inspire or for that matter repulse young learners: ‘Do I have to be like Einstein to be successful in science?’ The answer, of course, is an indefatigable ‘no, you certainly do not’. Indeed, a wide range of curriculum resources are now available in schools which refreshingly broaden such stereotypes – championing a more equitable, and pluralistic image of scientists and technologists.