Book Launch – Nikola Tesla and the Electrical Future

30 October 2019, 16:00 - 18:00

Room S1, Alison Richard Building, 7 West Road, Cambridge, CB3 9DT

gloknos is sponsoring the launch of a new publication by Iwan Rhys Morus (University of Aberystwyth). His new book, Nikola Tesla and the Electrical Future (2019), is published by Icon Books

The event features a presentation by Prof Iwan Rhys Morus, and a discussion led by Dr Kanta Dihal (Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence, University of Cambridge). A wine reception will follow for all guests. 

Iwan Rhys Morus is a Historian of Science at Aberystwyth University. He graduated in Natural Sciences from the University of Cambridge, and completed his doctorate at the same university in the History and Philosophy of Science. His new book on Nikola Tesla is the latest in a list of publications on the History and Culture of Science, which include Michael Faraday and the Electrical Century (2017), William Robert Grove: Victorian Gentleman of Science (2017), and the Oxford Illustrated History of Science (editor). 

If you are interested in this event, please email the organisers to reserve a space.

Want to share this event? Download and print a poster here.


gloknos is initially funded for 5 years by the European Research Council through a Consolidator Grant awarded to Dr Inanna Hamati-Ataya for her project ARTEFACT (2017-2022). ARTEFACT is funded by the European Research Council under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (ERC grant agreement no. 724451). For information about gloknos or ARTEFACT please contact the administrator in the first instance.

Book Description & Reviews

Nikola Tesla is one of the most enigmatic, curious and controversial figures in the history of science. An electrical pioneer as influential in his own way as Thomas Edison, he embodied the aspirations and paradoxes of an age of innovation that seemed to have the future firmly in its grasp.

In an era that saw the spread of power networks and wireless telegraphy, the discovery of X-Rays, and the birth of powered flight, Tesla made himself synonymous with the electrical future under construction but opinion was often divided as to whether he was a visionary, a charlatan, or a fool. Iwan Rhys Morus examines Tesla’s life in the context of the extraordinary times in which he lived and worked, colourfully evoking an age in which anything seemed possible, from capturing the full energy of Niagara to communicating with Mars. Shattering the myth of the ‘man out of time’, Morus demonstrates that Tesla was in all ways a product of his era, and shows how the popular image of the inventor-as-maverick-outsider was deliberately crafted by Tesla – establishing an archetype that still resonates today.

‘[This] crisply succinct, beautifully synthesized study brings to life Tesla, his achievements and failures…and the hopeful thrum of an era before world wars.’ Nature

'There have been other Tesla biographies, but this is the one I have been waiting for … Tesla, he shows us, was – like his one-time boss and rival Thomas Edison – inventing nothing less than the electrified future.’ Philip Ball, author of Invisible: The Dangerous Allure of the Unseen