Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Einstein and Newton - Autistic?

In recognition of Autism Awareness Month, I am posting about an article from the BBC titled Einstein and Newton 'had autism' from 2003. Autism like traits in individuals are not new to history. There are records of people exhibiting them for thousands of years. Some of these people have become famous and have contributed to history in positive ways.

Of course, diagnosing people after the fact is hard (or maybe inappropriately easy). Maybe they didn't have autism. But there is no harm in speculating particularly if it helps people understand that autism is not always a bad thing.

From the site:

Albert Einstein and Isaac Newton may have suffered from a type of autism, according to experts.

Researchers at Cambridge and Oxford universities believe both scientists displayed signs of Asperger's Syndrome.

Many people with Asperger's are often regarded as being eccentric. They sometimes lack social skills, are obsessed with complex topics and can have problems communicating.

This latest research suggests that Einstein, who is credited with developing the theory of relativity, and Newton, who discovered the laws of gravity, had these traits to varying degrees.

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