Wednesday, January 02, 2008

The Physics of Lawrence Krauss

First of all, I've never met Lawrence Krauss, so I have no idea if this reporter's description of him is accurate. I've met many well-known physicists and have seen them in "action", so to speak, both in public and in private, and many of them do not have the same persona that they project. So trying to deduce the nature of someone in this case is rather difficult. In addition, very brilliant physicists (or scientists for that matter) are often eccentric, and they don't intend to be rude on purpose.

Now, if you've followed what has been happening, you'd have heard about the bit of a pickle that Lawrence Krauss got himself into recently based on a preprint that he co-authored. Needless to say, he had to do quite a bit of explaining after it blew up in all the papers.

This article is sort of a follow-up of this. A reporter is basically giving his view of Lawrence Krauss based on his encounter with this physicist. While I don't quite agree with everything being written here (and I certainly can't vouch for the accuracy of his description of Krauss), I must admit that this was a rather entertaining reading. (Oh crap! Maybe this is why people read those supermarket tabloids!) For example:

First of all, Lawrence Krauss is kind of a dick. He really is. He has little patience for reporters who show up at his office at Case asking for an interview. He answers questions while sitting at a computer and corresponding via e-mail with people more important than reporters. And who can blame him? After all, reporters have been screwing up science for decades. Just look at the mess they're making of climate change and evolution. Reporters - daily reporters especially - try to balance interviews when reporting on these topics; they interview him and then they interview someone at the Creation Museum or GOP headquarters for counterpoint. But, in science, there is no "other side." Evolution exists. Global warming exists. Period. Why are reporters giving equal time to crackpots?

Secondly, this man has an ego the size of the Eta Carinae Nebula. He coats his office door and inner sanctum with newspaper clippings about Lawrence Krauss and papers written by Lawrence Krauss and books authored by Lawrence Krauss (pick up the Physics of Star Trek, by the way - it'll blow your Vulcan mind!).

Well, at least he got the description of reporters accurate!

{ka-ching!} :)

You should just read the whole thing and make up your own mind. All I can say is that I now want to meet Krauss more than ever. :)


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