A recent investigation that resurfaced damning evidence that famed physicist Erwin Schrödinger was a pedophile is continuing to make waves in the academic community.
Schrödinger, widely cited as the father of quantum physics and perhaps best remembered for his 1935 thought experiment “Schrödinger’s Cat,” was widely revealed to be a pedophile by The Irish Times after the newspaper published a report detailing his record as a sexual predator and serial abuser.
It’s a stomach-churning revelation about a researcher whose work revolutionized the study of the natural world and even led directly to today’s international research frenzy into quantum computing — and which shows, once again, that even the powerful and brilliant can be monsters.
The Irish Times identified young girls who Schrödinger became infatuated with, including a 14-year-old girl whom the physicist groomed after he became her math tutor.
Schrödinger, who died in 1961, later admitted to impregnating the girl when she was 17 and he was in his mid-forties. Horrifyingly, she then had a botched abortion that left her permanently sterile, according to the newspaper.
Perhaps most diabolically, the physicist kept a record of his abuse in his diaries, even justifying his actions by claiming he had a right to the girls due to his genius.
Walter Moore, author of the biography “Schrödinger, Life and Thought” published in 1989, said that the physicist’s attitudes towards women “was essentially that of a male supremacist.” Disgustingly, the biography seemed to downplay and even romanticize his abusive habits, and describes him as having a “Lolita complex.”
Schrödinger also attempted a relationship with a different 12-year-old girl, disgustingly writing in his journal that she was “among the unrequited loves of his life.” However, he decided not to pursue her after a family member voiced their concerns that the physicist was a, you know, unrepentant abusive predator.
In response, a petition has been launched to change the title of a lecture hall at Dublin’s Trinity University that’s named after him.
“We can acknowledge the great mark Schrödinger has left on science through our study, and this petition does not wish to diminish the impact his lectures or ideas had on physics,” the petition says. “However, it seems in bad taste that a modern college such as Trinity… would honor this man with an entire building.”
That’s true, of course. You can recognize the contributions someone has had in their field while also acknowledging that they were an absolute scumbag.
But honoring them by naming a lecture hall — or a giant space telescope — is completely unnecessary.