Anyone on here ever met or worked with a mad scientist?

Main Question or Discussion Point

I'm just curious if scientist like that exist, or if it's just a hollywood thing.
 

Answers and Replies

854
16
Why do you ask? Are you implying something? Just who are you working with anyway? Stop persecuting me!
 
1,100
25
No, but many people in science are weird, annoying, quirky, strange, or just completely anti-social.
 
MarneMath
Education Advisor
546
197
We must know very different people in science.
 
BobG
Science Advisor
Homework Helper
110
80
He was pretty mad the day I spilled acid on his shoe. I didn't work with him very long though - hired and fired the same day.
 
We must know very different people in science.
Never said I met anyone like that, I just asked if people like that exist.
 
MarneMath
Education Advisor
546
197
Never said that you said that.
 
6,171
1,275
In later life Tesla became something of a Mad Scientist. He veered off the beaten path and became more and more of a crackpot.

Newton seems to have had a couple bouts of complete craziness. These may well have been due to mercury poisoning from his alchemical researches.

However, I never personally met either of them.
 
George Jones
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
7,231
785
The last conversation I had with a scientist (a few hours ago) was about: Emerson, Lake, and Palmer; Days of Future Passed by the Moody Blues.
 
Averagesupernova
Science Advisor
Gold Member
3,548
565
I have. Two guys, one had a mechanical engineering degree, claimed they had an overunity device. The other guy I have no idea if he had any education. They wanted to generate power and sell back to the grid. I suspect the mech engineer was being played, but I never could figure out for what reason. As far as I know the thing never got off the ground. I know they were not just pulling my leg about their efforts because I have seen the machine or parts of it. It's a long time ago, like 20 years or more. I played along because I wanted to be taken into their confidence. I remember it was some kind of rotary device and recall seeing a full sheet of plywood loaded with 100 watt light bulbs for testing. There were probably over a hundred of them. All I could ever get out of them was that the key was to create an energy void. The device supposedly had a cooling effect on the environment. The one guy disappeared, the mech engineer still lives in the area. Mad scientist or con-man? You tell me.
 
476
2
I'm just curious if scientist like that exist, or if it's just a hollywood thing.
I had a friend whose thesis advisor went insane. Kurt Godel was of rather dubious sanity. It seems to be an occupational hazard for logicians and mathematicians in general. Wolfgang Pauli had some serious mental difficulties and was cured by CG Jung.

Applied sciences are more down to earth.
 
russ_watters
Mentor
19,028
5,187
...hired and fired the same day.
You or him?
 
ZombieFeynman
Gold Member
319
12
No, but many people in science are weird, annoying, quirky, strange, or just completely anti-social.
I sort of disagree. Perhaps the numbers of these sorts are a bit higher than the general population, but I think a much larger number of professional scientists are very down to earth, sociable, cooperative people.

All claims in this post are purely anecdotal. Your experience may vary. I am in no way responsible for your dealings with weird, annoying, quirky, strange, anti-social, or even mad scientists.
 
Chi Meson
Science Advisor
Homework Helper
1,766
10
I've met:

3 peeved scientists

12 irked scientists

2 irate scientists

5 incensed scientists

but no mad scientists
 
AlephZero
Science Advisor
Homework Helper
6,953
291
One of my uni friends was legendary for his ability to create havoc with lab experiments. Not to mention the time he blocked the river through the town, when the 100-year-old steam powered boat that he was restoring exploded on its maiden voyage.

He decided that blowing things up was obviously he speciality, and went to work for an offshore gas exploration company.

I've met up with him by chance a few times since college days - the 150 decibel high pitched voice and manic laughs are still easy to recognize at long range!

There was another biologist college friend who became a legend in his own final practical exam. This involved electrical stimulation of a (humanely killed) rabbit. About half an hour into the exam, there was a flash and a bang and the lab filled with the smell of singed fur. After which, he picked up the still smouldering rabbit by the ears, marched the length of the lab to the invigilator's desk, banged the charred remains down on the desk, and announced in a loud voice, "THIS RABBIT IS DEFECTIVE".....
 
Evo
Mentor
22,880
2,377
Garth
Science Advisor
Gold Member
3,572
105
One of my uni friends was legendary for his ability to create havoc with lab experiments. Not to mention the time he blocked the river through the town, when the 100-year-old steam powered boat that he was restoring exploded on its maiden voyage.

He decided that blowing things up was obviously he speciality, and went to work for an offshore gas exploration company.
The BP Deepwater Horizon rig I presume?

Garth
 
476
2
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q2iMES08D44

00:53
 
collinsmark
Homework Helper
Gold Member
2,853
1,176
44
3
Some of these guys are pretty mad.
http://www.shadycrypt.com
Hmm, they don't seem crazy enough. Except for the skeleton thing.

Well, my classmate told me that he considers dumping his gf, moving his stuff to a lab, and start living there. But he is a mathematician, so I guess that's normal for him.
 
269
1
In later life Tesla became something of a Mad Scientist. He veered off the beaten path and became more and more of a crackpot.

Newton seems to have had a couple bouts of complete craziness. These may well have been due to mercury poisoning from his alchemical researches.

However, I never personally met either of them.
I didn't check how accurate this is, but interesting article: http://amasci.com/tesla/teslabad.html
 

Related Threads for: Anyone on here ever met or worked with a mad scientist?

  • Last Post
5
Replies
118
Views
10K
Replies
15
Views
2K
Replies
20
Views
6K
Replies
160
Views
14K
  • Last Post
Replies
12
Views
2K
Replies
33
Views
8K
Replies
32
Views
4K
  • Last Post
Replies
2
Views
870
Top