A Real Case of a Juggling Scientist
In case anybody was dubious about PhD Comics' use of a juggling scientist, there was a real one, Claude Shannon:
While I was at MIT, I heard stories that Shannon had unicycled down the Infinite Corridor, juggling as he went. I have yet to find anyone who actually saw this event, but I’m still asking.
Unlike most brilliant theoretical mathematicians, Claude was also wonderfully adept with tools and machines, and frequently built little gadgets and inventions, usually with the goal of being whimsical rather than practical. "I've always pursued my interests without much regard to financial value or value to the world. I've spent lots of time on totally useless things," Shannon said in 1983. These useless things would include his juggling robot, a mechanical mouse that could navigate a maze, and a computing machine that did all its calculations in roman numerals.