A Beautiful Mind Heads to Prison

August 11th, 2005 by

There are many demanding activities in life that come with a wide margin of error — parenting, for example. For most of us, a few moments of inattention at work will not result in any serious consequences (as long as we are not performing brain surgery, or installing steel beams 30 stories off the ground). But one of the least forgiving activities in our busy lives is driving. Here, a moment of inattention (an animated conversation on a cell phone) can be disastrous. The risks of driving, considerable at any time, are magnified a thousand fold when people drive under the influence of alcohol.
We have blogged a number of driving catastrophes, where highly successful and productive individuals have ruined their lives (and the lives of others) by driving drunk. Now, in an article by Steve Chawkins in the Los Angeles Times, we read of a Nobel laureate in physics, John Robert Schrieffer, who faces prison time for slamming into a van at more than 100 mph last year, killing one passenger and injuring seven others in Santa Maria, Calif.
Schrieffer won the Nobel Prize in 1972 when he was just 26, for a theory he helped formulate that explained superconductivity