Set out front of the National Academy of Sciences Building, this whimsically enormous memorial of Albert Einstein contemplating the universe was dedicated on April 22, 1979 to mark the centennial of the scientist’s birth.
The 4-ton bronze statue of Einstein depicts him holding a paper inscribed with his three most important contributions to science: the photoelectric effect, the theory of general relativity, and the equivalence of energy and matter (e=mc2). The uniquely mottled texture of the statue’s bronze is the signature style of its sculptor, Robert Berks, who also created the famous bust of JFK found in the lobby of the nearby Kennedy Center.
The memorial’s 28-foot-wide black granite base is inlaid with over 2,700 metal studs, which were mapped out by astronomers from the U.S. Naval Observatory and meant to represent the stars, planets and more as they appeared on the dedication date..