Elephant-obsessed? Perhaps. Temporarily impotent? It seems so. But way ahead of his time? Most definitely.
If you’re intrigued by these unlikely collection of call and response titbits then you should have been at ‘The Quantum Astrologer’s Handbook’ – a talk by Dr. Michael Brooks about the forgotten genius of Jerome Cardano.
Every year I attend the Jersey Festival of Words, and every year I am constantly delighted by the breadth of events on offer. A quirk of our beloved literary festival which enticed me (me!) to attend a talk about quantum mechanics.
Dr. Brooks was a methodical, easygoing and charming speaker, bringing an effortless humour to a subject which secondary school physics lessons would have you believe is utterly devoid of it. He made expansive, mind bending, complicated quantum theories feel within our reach as he talked us outside of space and time.
Orbiting around Dr. Brook’s central “obsession” as he called him, the 16th century Italian astrologer and doctor Cardano, this talk brought together a sensitive blend of biographical candour and a responsibility to celebrate ingenuity and innovation in science.
As someone who normally breaks out in a light sweat whenever someone so much as mentions the word “proton” – I had decided that I probably wasn’t this talk’s or this book’s preferred audience. But Dr. Brooks immediately broke down that barrier as he began to tell us the story of the eccentric but exceptional Cardano – a man who was not simply ahead of his time, but capable of thinking outside of it.
Buy Dr. Brooks’ book, follow him on Twitter, meditate on the space-time continuum (not necessarily in that order).