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Logic Lesson: How to identify a second-rate person

Italian member of the Parliament Gabriella Carlucci is giving logic lessons. Today’s lesson is the idea that: Anyone who does not have a Nobel Prize is at best second-rate.

Carlucci has been making speeches and writing letters disparaging the work of Italian physicist Luciano Maiani. Carlucci, who does not yet have a Nobel Prize, sent the following letter to Nobel Prize winner (and Luciano Maiani’s research collaborator) Sheldon Glashow:

Dear Prof. Glashow,

You wrote to the President Prodi brutally insulting me, yet—without getting to the substance of things.

I inform you that the contents of the letter that caused your anger come from news published on italian newspapers, on Nature and “Lettere al Nuovo Cimento” [an italian-scientific publication of secondary importance, ndt]. News that were never disproven. I write to you only now to ask you one simple question:

If Maiani and his friends are, as you say, stellar luminaries highly esteemed throughout the world, why did they never win a Nobel prize ? Yet, italian Particle Physics (and in particular that in Rome) is in percentage and absolute value among the best financed in the world.

I hope you will answer without insulting me. And do not tell lies: I could surprise you.


Gabriella Carlucci.

That letter (actually, this translation of that letter) appears on a detailed history of Gabriella Carlucci’s adventure, prepared by physicist Tommaso Dorigo. For a more concise history, see the Gravitas Free Zone Weblog.

(Thanks to investigator Giovanni Peccati for bringing this to our attention.)

Improbable Research