Merchants of Truth and Light: Losing the Nobel Prize – Brian Keating #581

Merchants of Truth and Light: Losing the Nobel Prize – Brian Keating #581

In this episode of Bulletproof Radio, astrophysicist and cosmologist Brian Keating, Ph.D., talks about the high-pressure world of science. He knows that world well and gives a firsthand account of his experience of loss, failure, resiliency and humility in his book, “Losing the Nobel Prize: A Story of Cosmology, Ambition, and the Perils of Science’s Highest Honor.”

Brian’s childhood fascination with the night sky has led him to build and deploy some of the world’s most advanced and powerful telescopes and detectors. He does this so he can search for the literal edge of our universe and cosmic origins. His work takes him to some of the most extreme environments on the planet. You’ll learn about the high-performance hacks he and his team use to manage these conditions.

Today’s episode covers topics designed to fire up your thinking. Here are a few teasers from Brian:

  • Science and business: “Science is messy, and science is chaotic, and then oftentimes, unknowable, and it has many of the same features of the business world.”
  • Brains and computers: “The brain is the most phenomenal computer in the world and in the known universe.”
  • Time travel: “If time travel is possible, it would beggar a lot of questions.”
  • Infinity: “It’s the most baffling concept that we think it’s only accessible to human consciousness.”
  • The end of the world as we know it: “Keep paying your taxes just in case.”
  • Life’s secret weapon: “Curiosity. Be interested in literally everything.”

Enjoy the show!
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Follow Along with the Transcript

Merchants of Truth and Light: Losing the Nobel Prize – Brian Keating #581


Instagram: @losingthenobelprize
Twitter: @DrBrianKeating
Losing the Nobel Prize website:
Book: Losing the Nobel Prize: A Story of Cosmology, Ambition, and the Perils of Science’s Highest Honor
Simons Observatory:
Center for Astrophysics & Space Sciences:
UCSD Cosmology:

Additional resources:

Candace Pert: “Molecules of Emotion”
Rae Armantrout
Sir Roger Penrose
Stuart Hameroff
Osher Lifelong Learning Institute
Richard Feynman
Stephen Hawking
Harold Urey
Stanley Miller
Paul Erd?s
Leon Cooper
Robert O. Becker: “The Body Electric: Electromagnetism and The Foundation of Life”
Stephen Wolfram: “A New Kind of Science”
Simon Sinek: “Start with Why”
Andrew S. Grove

Key Notes

  • What happens when you diversify your curiosity 00:12:10
  • There is nothing in the laws of physics that disprove time travel 00:15:50
  • The three questions to ask a supreme being 00:21:00
  • “A mathematician is a machine that converts coffee into theorem” 00:25:45
  • The idea of a scientist being a beard-stroking scholar is nonsense 00:33:50
  • The 300-degree club 00:43:25
  • Where does your self-worth come from? 01:04:20
  • Big Ideas:
  • How competitive it can get when competing for a Nobel prize 00:7:20
  • When is time travel going to happen? 00:14:30
  • Is the big bang theory correct? 00:17:40
  • Studying consciousness is like trying to tickle yourself 00:23:15
  • What Dr. Keating does to turn his brain on 00:38:00
  • Why astronomers would benefit from a Bulletproof lifestyle 00:42:15
  • What Brian wants his legacy to be 00:56:10
  • Can science and religion exist together? 00:59:05

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