Thought experiment: replace some of the math jargon in the obituary with words like “enzyme” or “chromosome”. This would be acceptable to nature and a lot of pretty fair scientists would have only a vague working idea of exactly what these things are and what their precise structure is.

The Grothendieck obituary was remarkably elegant and compassionate and should resonate with anyone who has solved a quadratic equation in high school? It is above all a celebration of intellectual integrity.

]]>There is more to be said on this (see my teaching and popularisation web page). I have found biologists very interested in new concepts in mathematics, though not necessarily interested in the “famous problems in mathematics”, a topic on which I have a view expressed on that page.

That is all for now!

]]>The two cultures should take more time in negotiating a clear structure of the problem at the outset, including what counts as satisfactory criteria.

â€śIt is not our purpose to become each other; it is to recognize each other, to learn to see the other and honor him for what he is: each the other’s opposite and complement.â€ť ~Hesse

]]>Another point about Grothendieck is that he was a natural with respect to the rhythm of language: a great writer! See the correspondence available on

http://webusers.imj-prg.fr/~georges.maltsiniotis/ps.html

Other articles of mine are available on my “Teaching and Popularisation” page:

http://pages.bangor.ac.uk/~mas010/publar.html

In an article there on “Popularising Mathematics” I try to evaluate current vogues on University Teaching of Mathematics, and their purpose. In particular I suggest the radical idea of popularising mathemaitcs to maths students! In particular, this should include training/practice in communicating and writing about mathematics. See also the article on “Mathematics in Context”.

There is an old debating society tag: “Text without context is merely pretext.” What about “maths without context”?

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