June 21st from 7:30pm : Dr Stuart Clark - The Day without Yesterday
Europe is marching blindly into the first world war. Berlin is caught in a storm of nationalism with parades and speeches, queues reaching down the streets where the Army recruitment offices cannot keep up with the volunteers. No one anticipates the carnage to come, except one man.
Albert Einstein sees the cauldron that Europe is slipping into, made worse when his university colleagues begin work on poison gas to ‘shorten the war’. He is also struggling with the collapse of his marriage in the wake of an illicit affair with his cousin, whom he reluctantly agrees to marry once his first wife and two sons are safely ensconced in Switzerland.
Increasingly isolated, Einstein finds his academic work sidelined. Few people will entertain his outlandish new way of understanding the universe. He sees it as an invisible landscape of hills and valleys that determine the paths of the celestial objects, but he cannot quite pull the mathematics together. He needs a breakthrough, some evidence to prove his vision, but the only man likely to provide that is now a prisoner of war, facing execution.
Stuart Clark is a widely read astronomy journalist. His career is devoted to presenting the complex world of astronomy to the general public. Stuart holds a first class honours degree and a PhD in astrophysics. He is a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society and a former Vice Chair of the Association of British Science Writers. On 9 August 2000, UK daily newspaper The Independent placed him alongside Stephen Hawking and the Astronomer Royal, Professor Sir Martin Rees, as one of the ‘stars’ of British astrophysics teaching.
Currently he divides his time between writing books and, in his capacity of cosmology consultant, writing articles for New Scientist. He writes for the European Space Agency where he was Senior Editor for Space Science for some time. Over the years Stuart has written for amongst others: BBC Sky at Night, BBC Focus, The Times, The Guardian, The Economist, The Times Higher Education Supplement, Daily Express, Astronomy Now and Sky and Telescope. He has a commission from Astronomy and is writing text for an upcoming issue of stamps for the Royal Mail.