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Creativity and Genius: Inside the Minds of Leonardo, Newton, and Einstein

Evening Seminar

Tuesday, July 1, 2014 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:45 p.m.
Code: 1C0024
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What happens when the objective (scientific) part of the mind intersects with the subjective (artistic) part? Bulent Atalay explores this fascinating question by probing the genius of Leonardo da Vinci, Isaac Newton, and Albert Einstein. Each was a towering scientific figure, but Leonardo was a scientist doing art, and an artist doing science; Newton spent much of his time experimenting in the mysterious precincts of alchemy; and Einstein was a gifted violinist who frequently found inspiration for his scientific endeavors while playing, especially the music of Mozart.

Atalay shows how they were able to weave their disparate passions with often-amazing results. Was this an anomaly or something that can be mapped onto the brain? Understanding the patterns of their creativity will provide an entirely new appreciation of their work and genius—and perhaps that of others, too.

Atalay is a scientist, artist, and author of numerous papers in theoretical physics and two best-selling books about Leonardo da Vinci: Math and the Mona Lisa and Leonardo’s Universe.


S. Dillon Ripley Center,1100 Jefferson Drive, SW,Metro: Smithsonian Mall Exit (Blue/Orange)