Excerpt from "Queen Silver: The Godless Girl" -- Biographical Section.
The Girl Scientist
I can only imagine the expectant hush that must have fallen over the crowded hall as the three and one-half foot tall little girl was introduced and walked to the center of the sprawling stage. Too small to use a lectern, Queen would have stood in full sight, probably with her hands loosely by her side as shown in several photographs. If she were similarly dressed, she would have worn a plain dress that came halfway down her calves, with sensible shoes and a hat that framed her face. Or perhaps she wore a large soft bow that pulled back her curled hair, as in the famous Haeckel photograph. A stunned silence must have settled over the attentive audience as Queen opened her first scheduled lecture on the evolutionary theories of Darwin. It would have deepened as she continued to elucidate for over an hour, without using notes.
The lecture series changed Queen's life. Newspapers rushed to exclaim over the girl wonder. Nor did publicity die with the passage of months. The enduring attention Queen garnered can be partially explained by what could be called 'good marketing.' For example, at the age of ten, when the notoriety from the original lecture series might well have been dying down, Queen made a strategic choice. Whether it was meant to be strategic or how much it was guided by Grace is not known. The choice: Queen offered an interpretation of the not-yet-published, but greatly anticipated theory of relativity by Albert Einstein. Einstein's revolutionary theory was the talk of the day, in and outside of the scientific world. And many scientists were at a loss to know how to evaluate it.
By offering a child's-eye-view of relativity, Queen shared in the scientific limelight being shone upon Albert Einstein.(4) The famed botanist Luther Burbank expressed enthusiasm over her interpretation. The veteran and venerated freethought author William Smith Bryan proclaimed, "I never understood what Einstein meant by Relativity until I read her lecture on that subject. Possibly Einstein understood what he meant himself, but if he had employed Queen Silver to put his ideas into words, the world would have understood him better."(5) Queen seemed even to steal an iota of credit away from the august physicist who had just won the 1921 Nobel Prize for Physics for discovering the photoelectric effect.