In A Man of Misconceptions: The Life of an Eccentric in an Age of Change, John Glassie writes of 17th-century Jesuit priest and scientist Athanasius Kircher, a renaissance man who studied magnetism, Mount Vesuvius, even the blood of plague victims. The only problem? His theories were often wrong.
John Glassie is a former contributing editor at The New York Times Magazine and the author of A Man of Misconceptions: The Life of an Eccentric in an Age of Change (Riverhead Books, 2012). He’s based in Brooklyn, New York.