Grigoriy Perelman (St Petersburg, 13 June 1966) is a mathematician who refused the Fields Medal – considered the Nobel Prize of mathematics – and a Clay Mathematics Institute‘s million-dollar prize for solving the Poincaré conjecture, one of the seven Millennium Problems. In 2005, Perelman withdrew from mathematics and quit the math community because he was disappointed by the lack of ethics. He said:

“It is not people who break ethical standards who are regarded as aliens. It is people like me who are isolated.”

“Of course, there are many mathematicians who are more or less honest. But almost all of them are conformists. They are more or less honest, but they tolerate those who are not honest.”

“I had a choice, either to make some ugly thing – a fuss about the math community’s lack of integrity – or to be treated as a pet. That is why I had to quit.”

Read the whole story at:

Nasar, S, & Gruber, D. 2006. Manifold destiny. The New Yorker, August 28, 44-57.

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Posted in Science, Society

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