If I won a MacArthur, this is probably about how wisely I’d spend it.

MacArthur Genius Grant Goes Right Up Recipient’s Nose

According to friends, the $500,000, five-year, no-strings-attached MacArthur Fellowship awarded to Jim Yong Kim earlier this month went right up the 43-year-old scientist’s nose. “Kim’s efforts to eradicate drug-resistant strains of tuberculosis in Russian prisons and Peruvian ghettos amazed everyoneas did his appetite for top-grade cocaine,” Marisa Amir said Monday. “As soon as that first check arrived, Kim was on the phone with his dealer, and two hours later, he was in a hot tub full of strippers.” His first installment of money gone, the scientist then returned to the task of developing a whole-cell cholera toxin recombinant B subunit vaccine.

Not that I’m ever, under any circumstances, going to be in any danger of ending up in a hot tub full of strippers, even if I fall into some Star Trek-like alternate universe.

Update 10/15/2003: Not to get too pedantic, but doesn’t this piece assume that the MacArthur people are giving out their awards, like, through PayPal, rather than over five years?

And the size of the award– which is calculated according to the age of the recipient– is way too big. It should be about half that.