|A genius in captivity|
To be a genius in the arts seems based on public acclaim and on the need for that acclaim to last - yet it is ultimately purely subjective. The author of the book clearly thought, for example, that Virginia Woolf was a genius - something I found totally mind-boggling. Genius in art is ultimately a matter of fashion.
In science there are very different criteria. If artistic criteria were applied, you would probably label Stephen Hawking a genius, yet most of his colleagues would simply see him as a very good scientist. However, when you find a real scientific genius like Newton, Einstein or Feynman it's very hard for anyone to argue because it's not such a subjective, publicity driven concept, but rather based on the fundamental level of their contribution to scientific knowledge.
Having begun to think about scientific genius as a result of reading the book, I do wonder if there will ever be another true genius in the field. Most geniuses in science had very limited scientific qualifications when they did their great work. Neither Newton nor Einstein had a PhD at the time. A fair number had very limited scientific training - Faraday springs to mind. Darwin, for that matter, did his great work well outside his area of expertise. Genius in science seems to have come from the ability to span different areas of thought, to bring breadth of knowledge and originality to bear, rather than concentrating on a tiny area of expertise.
It does seem likely that our current scientists, who don't seem to be allowed to think at all before they get their PhDs, are simply too constrained to ever produce a work of genius. You have to have too much technical and mathematical training to have the freedom of thought required.
I'm not saying that great work won't be done in the sciences - but this is the age of the narrow-focussed team, not the individual, broad-thinking genius. And in some ways that's rather sad.
Photograph from Wikipedia