The Ph.D. Program in History

at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York

GC Events

Einstein and Picasso – The art of science and the science of art

 Einstein and Picasso

The art of science and the science of art

Arthur I. Miller

The Graduate Center, Wednesday, November 28, 6:30 PM

Science Center,  Room 4.102

Almost simultaneously, in the first decade of the 20th century Albert Einstein discovered relativity and Pablo Picasso cubism. How – and why? This fascinating story involves their often turbulent personal lives; the high drama of their struggles to achieve new ideas in the face of opposition from contemporaries; and the unlikely sources for their creative leaps, ignored by everyone else.

To fully understand what happened involves coming to grips with wide-ranging questions such as: Are there similarities in creativity between artists and scientists? What do artists and scientists mean by ‘aesthetics’ and ‘beauty’? Can we unravel creativity at its highest level?

The program is being sponsored by the Physics program, the History of Science program, the Art History program and the Science & the Arts program.

ARTHUR I. MILLER is emeritus professor of history and philosophy of science at University College London. He is fascinated by the nature of creative thinking and, in particular, in creativity in art (on the one hand) and science (on the other). What are the similarities, what are the differences? An experienced broadcaster, lecturer and biographer, he is noted for being able to write engagingly about complex social and intellectual dramas, weaving the personal with the scientific to produce page-turners that read like novels.


His latest book is Deciphering the Cosmic Number: The Strange Friendship of Wolfgang Pauli and Carl Jung (W.W. Norton, 2009). The paperback version is 137: Jung, Pauli, and the Pursuit of a Scientific Obsession (W.W. Norton, 2010). Among his other books are Empire of the Stars (Little Brown, 2005), which was shortlisted for the 2006 Aventis Prize for Science Books, and Einstein, Picasso (Basic Books, 2001), which was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize

Presently he is writing a book with the tentative title, The New Avant-Garde: Dispatches from the Edge of Science and Art, and also co-curated the show Art & Science: Merging Art & Science to Make a Revolutionary New Art Movement at GV Art gallery in London. For more see the e-catalogue at


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