Tuesday, July 5

Nikola Tesla, the pop scientist | Digital Trends Spanish

Few scientists have received as much attention from popular culture as Nikola Tesla. The inventor was born in Croatia on July 10, 1856 (today is his birthday) and died in the United States on January 7, 1943.

Tesla is considered the “wizard of electricity” and has been awarded more than 700 patents. His inventions such as the alternating current induction motor and the rotating magnetic field form the basis of the so-called second industrial revolution.

But his character of genius has been recognized belatedly. Tesla had to get used to a secondary place overshadowed by the figures of other inventors such as Thomas Alva Edison and Guillermo Marconi, who had the means and resources to carry out their inventions.

Tesla had none of that; he died alone, poor and with an obvious mental deterioration. This defeat to the system is likely to have spread some sympathy in the counterculture of the 1960s, when Tesla began to be recognized as a popular icon.

In fact, from that moment on, the inventor has been looked at in a different way and he is one of the scientists that I appreciate the most in current generations. Not for nothing is he considered a pop scientist.


Tesla is considered today a kind of alternate hero. The inventor constantly serves as a source of inspiration for the world of art and culture.

One of his most recognized “appearances” was in the film The Prestigeby Christopher Nolan, where he was portrayed by another pop culture icon, David Bowie.

Meanwhile, last year we saw the premiere of Tesla, a biographical tape of the inventor where he is played by Ethan Hawke.

Television has also incorporated the figure of the scientist into its catalog. Discovery Channel premiered a series where he addresses the mysterious events that surrounded his death in the 20th century.

Thus, his neat, well-groomed face and the characteristic mustache have appeared on T-shirts, comics, video games and various novels. There is also a rock band in America named after him. In fact, his most memorable song is “Edison Medicine”, which refers to the famous scientist who would have stolen his ideas.

It seems that, over the years, the figure of Tesla continues to grow in the midst of popular culture, which recognizes him as a benchmark who had to fight against the system and find his way among colleagues who enjoyed privilege and sympathy. of the elite of the time.

And people are able to mobilize in order to preserve their intangible legacy. At least that’s how they did it a couple of years ago, when it became known that their Wanderclyffe laboratory in New York would be converted into a shopping center.

The response of his followers came thanks to an initiative of anonymous people who managed to raise a million and a half dollars to save the venue.

Thus, with this type of action, it is likely that the popular quote of the scientist is being fulfilled by which he assured that the times to come belonged to him:

“Let the future judge each one according to their achievements. The present is theirs, but the future for which I have worked so hard belongs to me ”.

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