John Forbes Nash, the mathematician who startled the world by overcoming schizophrenia to win the 1994 Nobel prize for economics, will be in India next week to set rolling the external affairs ministry’s Nobel Laureate Lecture series.
A close friend of Amartya Sen, the Princeton University don will arrive on Monday at the invitation of the ministry’s public diplomacy division (PDD). External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee will be among the select audience at Nash’s talk on Wednesday on Global Games and Globalisation.
Nash’s personal story is best known as the film, A Beautiful Mind, starring Russell Crowe. It is based on Sylvia Nasar’s biography about the mystery of the human mind in three acts: genius, madness and reawakening. At age 21, Nash invented game theory, now the most influential paradigm for studying human behaviour. A decade later, he suffered a breakdown.
After 30 years of delusions he was recognised with a Nobel; he also had a miraculous remission of schizophrenia at age 60. The ministry felt he would be most fitting as the first speaker at an event that will bring to India some of the best minds in the world.
“Prof Nash epitomises human courage and genius, an unparalleled inspiration for all future generations,” remarked PDD’s Arif S Khan. Nash will meet President APJ Abdul Kalam, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and members of academia, business and the IT industry.