Dr. Brian Keating is a Professor of Physics at the University of California, San Diego. Additionally, he is the Co-Director of the Ax Center for Experimental Cosmology and Director of the Simons Observatory. Brian is also author of the book Losing the Nobel Prize: A Story of Cosmology, Ambition, and the Perils of Science’s Highest Honor. As a cosmologist, Brian studies the universe using a variety of different tools. In his research, he examines the stars, how the universe originated, and what (if anything) was present before our universe existed. Brian and his colleagues build instruments to detect the very first light in the universe by investigating an ancient heat called the cosmic microwave background radiation. This is a three degree Kelvin signal that resulted from the birth of the universe. Outside of science, Brian’s hobbies include flying airplanes and performing stand-up comedy. His interest in flight began when he was a young kid determined to become an astronaut, and he made his piloting dream come true when he earned his private pilot license in graduate school. Brian’s forrays in stand-up comedy began with an open mic session at a famous comedy club in La Jolla. He originally signed up to prepare for his TED Talk a few years ago, and since then, Brian has continued to work on his repertoire. He received his B.S. in physics from Case Western Reserve University and his Ph.D. in physics from Brown University. Brian conducted postdoctoral research at Stanford University and at the California Institute of Technology before joining the faculty at UC, San Diego. Brian and his work have earned many awards and accolades over the years. He has been named a Fellow of the American Physical Society and a UC, San Diego Hellman Faculty Fellow. In addition, Brian is the recipient of the White House Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, a National Science Foundation CAREER Award for Faculty Early Career Development, the Second Place Prize for the 2014 Buckhalter Cosmology Prize, and a UC, San Diego Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action and Diversity Award. In our interview Brian shared his stories and experiences from his life and science.
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