What Cultural Impact Did Albert Einstein Have?

The influence of Albert Einstein's theories of relativity is far reaching, from nuclear energy to GPS devices to our own notions of morality. His cultural impact is vast and nearly impossible to narrow down, and that's precisely what has earned him the title of one the most influential thinkers of our time.

Einstein's theory of relativity and his myriad scientific findings have had long-lasting implications for the production of nuclear energy and for synchronizing global positioning system (GPS) satellites, both of which have cultural implications. Nuclear energy has allowed us to reduce our reliance on non-renewable resources, but it still leaves carbon dioxide emissions that are comparable to those of renewable sources, making it a controversial energy source in the climate change debate. With GPS technology becoming available to the public, tangible paper maps have essentially become obsolete, with more people relying on smartphones and in-car navigation devices. These devices also have been linked to social media networks, giving people the option to "check in" to a location and notify friends of their whereabouts.

Einstein's theories of relativity also had a huge influence on philosophers, as the theories served to upset previously accepted notions of morality. The theories posited that facts were no longer absolute -- that everything was dependent upon one's own experience and perspective. In other words, the notion of right and wrong was no longer black and white because it varied from person to person, thus making each person's opinions and viewpoints inherently valid.