Sad news: Dick Taylor is gone

Richard Taylor answers questions his the Nobel Prize press conference, Oct. 17, 1990.

A news report from Stanford University says that Dick Taylor died today.

We had a good time back in 1998 at an Ig Nobel show at Stanford University. Lila Guterman, writing in the Stanford Report, described part of that evening:

Theories of improbability: Gum-chewing Nobelists talk silly science

A paper airplane whizzed through the air and hit Stanford Nobel laureate Martin Perl in the head before he answered the first question in an interview Wednesday evening, April 8. He and fellow SLAC Nobelist Richard Taylor were grilled about chewing gum in front of an audience of 200 people in Stanford’s Terman Auditorium.

Their interviewer was Marc Abrahams, editor of the irreverent science magazine The Annals of Improbable Research. Abrahams was at Stanford to promote the new book, The Best of Annals of Improbable Research. The result was an evening of silly science.

Abrahams chomped on gum as they discussed the lofty topic, and he offered the two Nobelists their own sticks.

“How often do you chew gum?” Abrahams asked them.

“Whenever I get a bad idea,” said Perl, munching away.

“Same,” responded Taylor. “Never.”

The airplane-throwing audience laughed upon learning that Perl uses gum to stick his telephone to his desk and to plug vacuum leaks. But Taylor adamantly denied using chewing gum. “I’m more used to bubble gum,” he said….