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©2020 BY THE HUMAN CONSULTANCY

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“so far our exploration of space is equivalent to putting a thimble in the ocean and thinking you know all of the creatures - you cannot say that something does not exist if you have never explored it - intelligent people can maintain a duality of different ideas at the same time"

Takeaways from Ed Andrew talking with Brian Keating.

Brian Keating is a professor of physics at the Center for Astrophysics & Space Sciences (CASS) in the Department of Physics at the University of California, San Diego. He is a public speaker (TEDx), inventor, author of Losing the Nobel Prize, a certified commercial pilot and an expert in the study of the universe’s oldest light, the cosmic microwave background (CMB), using it to learn about the origin and evolution of the universe.

We talk about the impact the Nobel Prize on the scientific community, collaboration and mistrust, the secret world of Nobel, how only 2 women have ever won the award for physics, his career as a scientist, the search for extra terrestrial life, how a misjudged PR campaign cost him the Prize, the accolade of being asked to nominate the 2017 Prize and his view of life and the universe. He is humble, witty and very balanced in his opinions and thoughts and is an explorer in the truest sense. 

Brian co-leads two international experiments searching for B-modes. One is called POLARBEAR and the other is an expansion of the POLARBEAR project now underway called the Simons Array. Both are situated in northern Chile. Brian is also a Director of the Simons Observatory, a $45 million Cosmic Microwave Background experiment co-located near the POLARBEAR/Simons Array and ACT telescopes in northern Chile.  Keating is also a member of the BICEP2 collaboration at the South Pole also searching for B-modes, he is also the recipient of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), 2007.

  • on his motivation for writing the book - Losing the Nobel Prize (2)

 

  • explaining the difference between cosmologists astro physicists and theoretical physics such as Stephen Hawking (7)

 

  • the background to his Nobel Prize nomination - the Bicep and Bicep 2 programs, founding the programs when at Caltech - working with Prof Andrew Lange, to build an experiment to potentially image the very first birth pangs of the Big Bang (11)

 

  • taking a picture of the universe as it existed a trillionth of a trillionth of a trillionth of a second after the Big Bang - build it and based in South Pole (13)

 

  • discussing collaboration and competition within the scientific community around the Nobel Prize- the reason why in the end the theory was disproved (17)

 

  • publish or perish their discovery on St Patricks Day 2014 (21)

 

  • the double meaning of the Nobel Prize and how he  personally lost, they knew they got it wrong (21.30)

 

  • lessons learned from releasing their findings too early - other Nobel winners are very influenced by their approach to the media (29)

 

  • discussing his 5 reformations to the Nobel Prize in physics - in the book  - how the King of Sweden cancelled the NB for literature in 2018 for a sex abuse scandal (31)

 

  • the rules and structures of Nobel - how manipulated the rules are - how the Prize is awarded and his invitation to nominate the Nobel Prize winner, how only 2 women have ever won the Prize of physics. How the Prize influences society (36)

 

  • discussing the veil that was covering his soul (42)

 

  • discussing the search for extra terrestrial life - the search for ETI looking at signatures of green house gases of other planets- and how he believes life is more akin to silica based artificial intelligence (47)

 

  • discussing confirmation bias and how work with Prager University, free 5 min courses on a variety of subjects, apolitical look at origin stories v religious stories (52)

 

  • intelligent people can maintain a duality of different ideas at the same time (54)

 

  • discussing his message which is never stop asking questions about the universe, cosmology should be removed from politics - "buy a telescope - you can se everything that Galileo saw" (55)

 

  • science means knowledge not wisdom  -  in Russian science means a person who is taught - always be be curious (60)

 

  • suggested books - he reads the Bible every day - there is wisdom in it and makes him think and challenges him (62)

 

  • gratitude meditation and mindfulness, mental health amongst scientists - gratitude for every breath - I cannot wait to see what next mystery will be unravelled and it is a privilege - his current project 'PolarBear' is a $45m project. (65)

Suggested reading

 

 

 

To contact Brian please click on the links below

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