PolymathMartin Gardner

“I just play all the time,” Gardner once said of his profession, “and am fortunate enough to get paid for it.” A writer, Gardner’s specialty was math, and excelled at having fun with it. His Mathematical Games column ran in Scientific American magazine from 1956 to 1981, even though he never took a college-level math class. He wrote more than 70 books on topics as diverse as magic, philosophy, science fads and fallacies, Alice in Wonderland, relativity, puzzles, codes and ciphers, time travel, religion, pseudoscience, and more. In his later years, Gardner was especially disgusted by pseudoscience; in 1976 he was a founding member of the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal (CSICOP), and from 1983-2002 wrote a column for their magazine, Skeptical Inquirer. He died May 22 at an assisted-living facility in Norman, Okla. He was 95.

From This is True for 23 May 2010