"I found this story about Dyson online earlier. When Dyson came to Princeton in 1947 he was dying to meet Einstein, so he went to Einstein's secretary, Helen Dukas, to make an appointment. In order to have something relevant to discuss, he got copies of Einstein's papers on unified field theory. Reading them that evening, Dyson decided the papers were crap. He couldn't face the great Einstein and tell him his papers were junk, so he said he cancelled the meeting and spent the next eight years avoiding Einstein."I initially believed this story to be completely unsubstantiated but surprisingly it appears to have originated in a 2007 book, The Trouble With Physics: The Rise of String Theory, The Fall of a Science, and What Comes Next by theoretical physicist Lee Smolin. Being unable to find anything else to substantiate this story and instead only finding contradictory evidence, I decided to contact Dyson himself. As I initially suspected this story is completely false.
"This story is a flat lie. Nothing like it ever happened. I never asked for an appointment with Einstein, never cancelled any appointment, and never avoided him. Whoever invented the story should be ashamed of himself."I later notified Professor Dyson of the source and he was grateful to know who originated this myth.
- Freeman Dyson (Source: Email Correspondence)