Apr 24, 2018
What if sciences most coved prize was a golden calf in disguise?
When was the first time you looked deep into the night sky? When Brian Keating was a young boy looking into the night sky, he noticed a brilliant light coming from the moon and a nearby star (later confirmed as the planet Jupiter) and realized he needed to know everything about the cosmos.
Today, Keating is a Professor of Physics at the Center for Astrophysics & Space Sciences at the University of California, San Diego, and newly the author of Losing The Nobel Prize: A Story of Cosmology, Ambition, and the Perils of Science’s Highest Honor. As a call for the reform of the Nobel Prize system, Losing The Nobel Prize points to many of the ethical and social missteps of the Prize’s current practices that inhibit its promise of a meritocratic and scientific approach to the entire study of science.
The book delves into topics such as: the religion of atheism, the misinformed “sanctity” of the Nobel Prize, the pitfall human condition of idol worship, and the ultimate humanity of science. In today’s episode, he sits down with us in his office at UCSD to discuss the inspiration behind the book, some of the major realizations he had while writing, and his overall philosophy in regards to the topics discussed in the book.