For quite a long time it was widely suspected that Albert Einstein was not what he was cracked up to be. It has been settled for decades that he was not a particularly lovely human being (a philanderer, egotist, wife-abuser, to name just a few of the most notable characteristics), and no amount of image management was capable of suppressing uncomplimentary facts of a personal nature that have emerged about him. But there is a much more damning suspicion concerning Einstein that has been more or less neutralised in the public perception, and that is that he was not the genius in the field of physics such as he had been presented to a gullible public. His Serbian first wife Mileva Marić, whom he cruelly abused and manipulated, as well as plagiarised, in the early phase of his life played a decisive role in the development of the scientific discoveries that later were attributed exclusively to him. Mileva was a distinguished mathematician and physicist in her own right, with many scientific achievements to her credit, and that was at the turn of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, when it was exceedingly difficult for a woman to successfully compete in most careers. At last, thankfully, an initiative has been started to posthumously award to Mileva Marić the Nobel Prize in physics that mounting evidence suggests properly belonged to her and not to her plagiarist husband.
#NobelForMileva, a global movement created by SunsetDDB in partnership with the Inspiring Girls NGO, is an initiative to advocate for the role of women in science and technology
In honor of International Women’s Day on Sunday (8), #NobelforMileva was created in defense of gender equality and female recognition in science and technology. It is also a global movement to advocate for justice, asking the Nobel Foundation in Sweden to recognize the work and talent of Mileva Marić, the Serbian physicist and mathematician who was also the first wife of physicist Albert Einstein, winner of the Nobel Prize in 1921. Mileva was a co-author in many academic achievements of the famous scientist, including the theory of relativity.
One of the actions to launch the campaign is a video that will be shown on digital platforms with a brief history of Mileva Marić and an invitation for women and people of any gender identity to take selfies sticking their tongues out and then post them on social media, starting on March 8, giving new meaning to the gesture that transformed Albert Einstein into a pop icon and representation of a genius.
“The #NobelForMileva campaign, created by SunsetDDB, was received as an incredible opportunity by NGO Inspiring Girls to encourage young females to believe and follow their dreams. It is also a beautiful tribute to Mileva and all the forgotten women who deserve to be recognize and have their place in history,” says Corinne Giely, the Chief Executive Officer of Inspiring Girls Brazil.
In addition to the digital mobilization, the campaign will recognize Mileva’s contribution to science on other fronts, including paintings, graffiti, murals and even tattoos of the face of Albert Einstein’s first spouse, made by artists from different parts of the world. The movement includes bust statues of the scientist with her tongue sticking out, which can be 3D printed to be exhibited in world-class universities.
Thiago Lacorte, Creative Director at SunsetDDB, says the campaign is an opportunity to do Mileva Marić justice. “It is perplexing to realize that most people have never heard of Mileva and to imagine how many girls did not feel represented in this context. In a historical reckoning, the campaign makes us rethink the way we give voice to women, not only as professional talents, but as agents of scientific and technological transformation,” adds Lacorte.
The #NobelForMileva movement also relies on the “Milevas of the Future” project to showcase Mileva Marić story as inspiration for children. In late March, to wrap up the month of International Women’s Day, an animated short film will be aired, with the story of three girls who are passionate for science and find in Mileva the necessary encouragement to follow their dreams.