An excerpt from an OUPblog article published on Friday 20th November 2015, written by Andrew Robinson, author of Genius: A Very Introduction and Einstein: A Hundred Years of Relativity, published by Princeton University Press in 2015.
"... after some decades of controversy, since the space programme of the 1960s general relativity has been regarded by most cosmologists as the best available explanation for the observed structure of the universe, including black holes, if not the complete explanation.
However, even today hardly anyone apart from specialists understands general relativity—unlike, say, the theory of natural selection, the periodic table of the elements or the concept of wave/particle duality in quantum theory. So why is Einstein the world’s most famous and most quoted (and misquoted) scientist, far ahead of Isaac Newton or Stephen Hawking—and also a legendary byword for genius? His fame is a puzzling phenomenon. As an Einstein biographer, let me to try to unravel the mystery, at least a little, by considering the reactions to Einstein of a wide range of people during his lifetime and since his death in 1955, as well as his own surprised reaction to his fame."
Discover more: Read the rest of the article on the OUPblog.