In the foreword of his popular scientific book “The ABC of Relativity”, Bertrand Russell observed that everyone knew that Albert Einstein did something astonishing, yet very few people knew exactly what it was. Curiously, the situation does not seem to have changed much within the last century.
Even though Einstein revolutionised our conception of the physical world, general education in most countries relies on classical conceptions of space, time, and matter. Even though Einstein’s ideas captivate the interest of scientists and the public alike, the theory of relativity still has a reputation of being abstract, counter-intuitive, and unintelligible to the average person.
It is against this backdrop that I am extremely grateful to have been awarded a qualification scholarship by the Science Studies Colloquium Series at the University of Oslo: This scholarship will allow me to conduct research at the nexus of science studies and science education. My goal is to situate the impact of the theory of relativity in a broad historical, philosophical, and cultural context. Doing so I hope to translate insights from the past, obtained through a lens of science studies, into educational practices for the future.