September 19, 2007

Mad With Science

Posted in Undefined at 7:13 pm by Bram Janssen

We are all familiar with the image of the ‘mad scientist,’ or the ‘crazy genius.’ However, did you know that there have been scientists who were so consumed with their work that it really drove them into insanity?

The BBC4 documentary below focuses on four scientists who each had a defining role to play in the history of mathematics.  They drove themselves into madness and suicide by such seemingly silly questions as: ‘what are the limits of infinity?’ and ‘how to proof that which can’t be proved?’

It’s an interesting documentary, but in the end it’s a sad story, really… Four genius so obsessed with answering the unanswerable that they descended into schizophrenia, manic-depression and ultimately: a premature rendezvous with the absolute.