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Ask Marilyn: Why Don't You Always Respond?
Vytas Sakalas of Tucson, Arizona, writes:
Marilyn: My friend posted a request on his Facebook page in which he asked you to referee his proof of Beal's Conjecture. He and I spoke by phone, and he told me that he has sent you several such requests over the past few years, and that you have, thus far, completely ignored his communications. Given that you have written a book on Fermat's last Theorem, I tend to think that his proof would be of interest to you. Could it be that his proof is too challenging in some way? I realize that people have a tendency to "play it safe" in situations that might negatively impact their reputations. I hope this is not the case, and that in the interest of the pursuit of truth and intellectual honesty, you do take the time to read his proof and referee it publicly.
I'm so sorry, but I receive too many requests like your friend's. I couldn't possibly find the time to handle them all. The best I could do would be to send a form reply, which some people like but others find annoying.