Elusive Genius

Much as I hate to make sweeping statements about scientists, a few notable exceptions apart, they aren’t known for their garrulous media-whoredom. Grigory Perelman, a staggeringly intelligent Russian mathematician, is about to make the most retiring lab-lurker look like a reality TV reject. He’s recently solved one of the longest-standing mathematic mysteries, Poincare’s conjecture, but is still lurking well away from the limelight, and is expected to refuse to accept a major award next week. Little is known about him beyond his work, but to judge from the reactions of his fellow mathematicians, that work speaks volumes on his behalf.