Archive of Author | Margaret Wertheim

Margaret Wertheim is a writer, curator and artist whose work focuses on relations between science and the wider cultural landscape. A two-fold perspective animates her work: on the one hand science can be seen a set of conceptual enchantments that delight our minds and senses; on the other hand science is a socially embedded activity intersecting with philosophy, culture and politics. Wertheim aims to illuminate both dimensions of science and mathematics through her books, articles, lectures, workshops, and exhibitions.

Wertheim is the author of six books including Pythagoras Trousers, a history of physics and religion; The Pearly Gates of Cyberspace, a history of scientific concepts of space; and Physics on the Fringe, a ground-breaking exploration of outsider science. She has written for the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Guardian, Aeon, Cabinet and many others. In 2003, with her twin-sister Christine, she founded the Institute For Figuring, a Los Angeles based practice devoted to the “aesthetic and poetic dimensions of science and mathematics.” Through the IFF she has designed art & science exhibits for galleries and museums around the world, including the Hayward Gallery (London) and Science Gallery (Dublin). Her Crochet Coral Reef project is a global participatory art & science endeavor that’s been exhibited at the Andy Warhol Museum (Pittsburg), Museum of Arts and Design (New York), Deutsches Museum (Munich), the Smithsonian (Washington D.C.), and elsewhere. Throughout her career Margaret has been a pioneer in communicating STEM subjects to women. She lectures widely at universities, colleges, and conferences internationally. With degrees in physics and math, she has worked on all seven continents and stood on the South Pole.

www.margaretwertheim.com

Articles with Margaret Wertheim


The art and beauty of general relativity

Margaret Wertheim is Vice-Chancellor’s Fellow in Science Communication, The University of Melbourne. She is an internationally noted writer and exhibition curator whose work focuses on relations between science and the wider cultural landscape. The author of six books, including ‘The Pearly Gates of Cyberspace,’ a groundbreaking exploration of the history of Western concepts of space from Dante to the Internet.

Wertheim is the founder and director of the Institute For Figuring, a Los Angeles-based organization devoted to the aesthetic and poetic dimensions of mathematics and science. (www.theiff.org) Through the IFF, she has designed exhibitions for galleries and museums in a dozen countries, including the Hayward Gallery in London and the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History in Washington D.C. The IFF’s “Crochet Coral Reef” project – spearheaded by Margaret and twin sister Christine – is the largest participatory science-and-art endeavor in the world, and has been shown at the Andy Warhol Museum (Pittsburgh), the Science Gallery (Dublin), New York University Abu Dhabi, and elsewhere. Through an unlikely conjunction of handicraft and geometry, the Crochet Coral Reef offers a window into mathematics while addressing the issue of reef degradation due to global warming. Wertheim’s TED talk on the topic has been viewed more than a million times, and translated into 20 languages, including Arabic.

The art and beauty of general relativity

“In general relativity, reason and imagination combine to synthesise a whole that neither alone could achieve.”

Margaret Wertheim is a writer, curator and artist whose work focuses on relations between science and the wider cultural landscape. A two-fold perspective animates her work: on the one hand science can be seen a set of conceptual enchantments that delight our minds and senses; on the other hand science is a socially embedded activity intersecting with philosophy, culture and politics.