Professor David Auerbach, who has on occasion nodded in with extremely knowledgeable comments about walks in Paris, bakeries worth visiting in the Triangle area, and other matters far from his official expertise in the philosophy of mathematics, calls my attention to the fact that Thomas Piketty has just refused the signal French award of the Legion d'Honneur, saying “It isn’t up to the government to decide who’s honorable. They would do better to concentrate on reviving growth.”
You gotta love him!
It calls to mind the fact that Jean Paul Sartre also declined the Legion d'Honneur, as well as the Nobel Prize.
I invite my readers to give us other examples, if they exist, of distinguished intellectuals who have declined official honors and awards. No fair mentioning Kant's decline of a Professorship of Poetry. He just didn't want to leave home.