A few days ago I heard news from Paris of the death of Grichka Bogdanoff on Dec. 28, and this morning heard of the death yesterday of his twin brother Igor. There are many news stories online (e.g. here), and Lubos Motl has written about them here.
There’s a chapter in my book Not Even Wrong about “The Bogdanov Affair”, and quite a few blog postings here referred to the twins and their activities related to theoretical physics. The motivations for writing about them were always two-fold. That they had managed to get more or less nonsensical papers published in reputable physics journals in 2001-2 (Annals of Physics and Classical and Quantum Gravity) raised important questions about how one evaluates speculative theoretical physics research. But also, the whole story had many comic aspects (see for instance here). I always supposed that to some extent the brothers were in on the joke and I hope that was true. At one point they invited me to come see them when I was in Paris, but I decided not to take them up on the offer, since it seemed best to keep one’s distance from whatever they were doing. In recent years I hadn’t been following at all their activities.
There’s a darkly comedic aspect to this and other examples of prominent people opposed to COVID vaccinations succumbing themselves to the disease. I’m sorry that this happened to the brothers, putting a final all too avoidable tragedy at the end of their remarkable life stories.