What Would You Do in this Dilema/Case? 

You were selected to win the Nobel Prize for your contribution to physics. You received your tickets to Norway to attend the lavish ceremony. You were featured on the cover of Time magazine, have been interviewed by hundreds of journals and networks. Minutes after you received the call that Nobel Committee has chosen you from 40 possible candidates, you went from being an anonymous physicist spending the last 45 years in a laboratory to becoming a world class scientist whose name will be immortalized in the annals of scientific innovation and discovery. You become a house hold name. The world is buzzing with your praise.

And then… the unthinkable happens. Hours before you go to the airport to fly to Norway, you discover a subtle mistake in one of your 20,000 equations.  It is a mistake that no eye has perceived and perhaps will not be perceived for many years. But a mistake it is. Your calculation is erroneous. You have refuted your own discovery.

Here is your choice: You can come out to the world and say, hey, I made a mistake. 45 years of research down the drain. I do not deserve this Nobel Prize. Give it to my competitor. I discovered nothing. I am sorry. Back to the laboratory; back to square one. Or perhaps you decide to become a mechanic in a gas station, or a computer programmer.

But you have another choice: You tell yourself, let me go and get the Nobel Prize. I did work very hard for it. I did dedicate 45 years of my life to this project. Okay, one of the equations is a bit off, right, but I did not kill anyone. We can always expose that in the future. And besides, the masses will anyway not understand. Let me enjoy my moment of glory and then one day in the future I will reveal my mistake. Even Einstein was proven wrong in some areas; it’s not such a big deal.

What would you do, my dear friends, if this happened to you? Honestly, with your hand on your heart, what would you do?

Send us your response to rabbi@rabbiperl.com