Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

Einstein's inspiring advice to Marie Curie on trolls ‘Don't read that hogwash’

rexfeatures_2687971a.jpg
3274663.jpg

It can be an upsetting, humiliating and often frightening experience to be trolled. 

Trolling - where internet users post deliberately provocative and aggressive statements against a person - is unfortunately a common part of internet culture and it regularly made front page news in 2014, from the Scottish charity who labelled J.K. Rowling a "b***" for donating money to Scotland's anti-independence campaign, Better Together, to Cambridge University professor Mary Beard's public battle with her abusers on Twitter, which she went on to befriend.

But trolling isn't a modern-day phenomenon. 

A resurfaced century-old letter from Albert Einstein to Marie Curie shows that the legendary female scientist, who discovered the X-ray and won two Nobel prizes, also faced the criticism of trolls. 

In the letter (below) from 1911, which was recently discovered in a huge trove of new Einstein letters and published online this week, Einstein praises her work and offers some timeless advice on dealing with haters.

A young Albert Einstein in 1925

A young Albert Einstein in 1925

I am so enraged by the base manner in which the the public is presently daring to concern yourself with you,” wrote the physicist. 

At the time, Curie's bid for a seat in the French Academy of Sciences had been rejected because she was a woman and atheist and news came out that she, a widow, was having an affair with a physicist named Paul Langevin, who was estranged from his wife. Critics slammed her for tarnishing the name of her deceased husband Pierre Curie, whom she won her first Nobel prize win.

Einstein letter to Marie Curie

Addressing this disparagement, Einstein wrote: “I am impelled to tell you how much I admire your intellect, your drive, and your honesty, and that I consider myself lucky to have made your personal acquaintance in Brussels.”

“If the rabble continues to occupy itself with you, then simply don’t read that hogwash, but rather leave it to the reptile for whom it has been fabricated,” he added.

Even history’s greatest minds need reminding that sometimes you just have to ignore negative noise in the background. Read Einstein's inspiring words to Curie above.

More

20 soothing, beautiful songs guaranteed to help you fall asleep

An expert picks the ultimate classical music playlist

by Sarah Biddlecombe
20 Oct 2017

Puppy dog eyes are a thing and your dog makes them just for you

A study says dogs change their facial expressions when humans are looking

by Amy Swales
20 Oct 2017

Here’s how to buy a house or a flat for the princely sum of £1

It's time to enter the real-estate raffle

by Megan Murray
20 Oct 2017

Oxford University under fire for shocking lack of racial diversity

One MP called the revelations an example of “social apartheid”

by Moya Crockett
20 Oct 2017

This prosecco festival is the best way to start feeling Christmassy

Bubbles, bubbles everywhere

by Susan Devaney
20 Oct 2017

Missing your 16-25 railcard? We have good news for you

Rail bosses have taken pity on cash-strapped millennials

20 Oct 2017

This man’s response to his friend’s period while hiking is everything

“I had NOTHING on me and I was wearing shorts”

by Susan Devaney
20 Oct 2017

Why anxiety makes it harder to follow your intuition

It can have a paralysing effect on decision-making

by Anna Brech
19 Oct 2017

“Why all men must work to stamp out sexual harassment and abuse”

In wake of the Weinstein allegations, one writer argues why men need to be counted

19 Oct 2017

Rage, lust, power and warmth: how it feels to experience ‘red emotions

“I grew up being told my body was terrifying and my voice was unimportant”

by The Stylist web team
19 Oct 2017