Richard Feynman (1918-1988)
[Updated] Very few heroes can survive scrutiny unscathed. They all have flaws, by virtue of being human. However, hero-worship blurs those flaws, leveling them: truly nasty aspects of a person’s personality or behavior become on par with little quirks and eccentricities. In that way, we justify our worship. If everyone is a little flawed, then it doesn’t matter if our heroes are too. Right? They’re only human!
But what if a hero was a sexual predator, someone who admitted to some really creepy behavior? What if this person also happens to be a Nobel laureate, a founder of a whole field of research, and an admirable thinker on a number of complicated topics? How do we deal with the two realities together?
In short, how do we cope with the problem of Richard Feynman?
Richard Feynman the physicist
Richard Feynman casts the longest shadow in…
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