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Losing the Nobel Prize: A Story of Cosmology, Ambition, and the Perils of Science's Highest Honor 1st Edition

The inside story of a quest to unlock one of cosmology’s biggest mysteries, derailed by the lure of the Nobel Prize. What would it have been like to be an eyewitness to the Big Bang? In 2014, astronomers wielding BICEP2, the most powerful cosmology telescope ever made, thought they’d glimpsed the spark that ignited the Big Bang. Millions around the world tuned in to the announcement, and Nobel whispers began to spread. But had these cosmologists truly read the cosmic prologue or, driven by ambition in pursuit of Nobel gold, had they been deceived by a galactic mirage? In Losing the Nobel Prize, cosmologist Brian Keating―who first conceived of the BICEP (Background Imaging of Cosmic Extragalactic Polarization) experiments―tells the inside story of BICEP2’s detection and the ensuing scientific drama. Along the way, Keating provocatively argues that the Nobel Prize actually hampers scientific progress by encouraging speed and competition while punishing inclusivity, collaboration, and bold innovation. To build on BICEP2’s efforts to reveal the cosmos’ ultimate secrets―indeed, to advance science itself―the Nobel Prize must be radically reformed.


Selected Videos

Deepak Chopra’s interview with Brian Keating about Science vs. Spirituality, cosmology, and the Nobel Prize.

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Deepak Chopra’s interview with Brian Keating about Science vs. Spirituality, cosmology, and the Nobel Prize.

What's a Greater Leap of Faith: God or the Multiverse?

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What’s a greater leap of faith: God or the Multiverse? What’s the multiverse? Brian Keating,…

Losing the Nobel Prize Book Trailer: Cosmic Confidential

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Brian Keating’s new book, Losing the Nobel Prize, tells the exciting story of a cosmological…

Recent Posts

Conversations with Cosmologist Brian Keating.

Why Nobel Prizes Fail 21st-Century Science

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A small group of scientists will achieve international stardom this week. They will learn they have won Nobel prizes in physiology, chemistry, and physics...

Nobel Prizes Still Struggle With Wide Gender Disparity

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Nobel Prizes are the most prestigious awards on the planet, but the aura of this year's announcements have been dulled by questions over why so few women have...

Should All Nobel Prizes Be Canceled For A Year?

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If you ever meet someone who claims to have nearly won the Nobel Prizes in mathematics, walk away: You're dealing with a deeply delusional individual. While there...

There's Nothing Noble About Science's Nobel Prize Gender Gap

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We scientists are pretty good with numbers. Whether it's tallying the number of galaxies in the universe or probing reagent reactions that last mere femtoseconds...

10 Drafts Later: Making it to Amazon's Top 10 Best Books!

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Nine of the ten drafts of Losing the Nobel Prize. I couldn't bring myself to print out the first draft! When I began writing Losing the Nobel Prize,...

UC San Diego to design telescope to search for "ancient light" from the universe

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UC San Diego has begun designing a powerful telescope that will be placed in Chile's Atacama Desert to search for "ancient light" that could help explain...

It's Time to Rethink the Nobel Prizes

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Image Credit: Adam Baker Flickr(CC BY-SA 2.0) "They can go to a maximum of three people, and they can't be awarded posthumously, but wasn't part of Alfred...

UCSD gets $40 million to study infancy of the universe

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UC San Diego astrophysicist Brian Keating will lead the Simons Observatory, which is being created in Chile's Atacama Desert. Image Credit (Nelvin C. Cepeda) "UC San...

New year, new podcast!!!

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Excited to be teaching again after some time off. So much has changed since I last taught a Physics 1 Level class... clickers, workbooks, podcasts...oh my! Listen...

Shut Up and Measure | A Conversation with Brian G. Keating

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Image for Dr. Brian Keating. Image Credit: Edge "What is fascinating to me is that we are now hoping, with modern measurements, to probe the early...

Looking Where The Light Isn't

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Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech "The hunt is on to directly detect Dark Matter, and several exciting upgrades to liquid noble gass experiments are coming online in 2016. Perhaps...

Can't wait to see my Osher Students this week!

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It's back to school week for all you Osher Lifelong Learning Institutde students and I can't wait to see you. Please have new shoes and backpacks...

I've (apparently) got a secret!

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This was a fun interview I did with the UC San Diego Extension school, which is located on the west side of UCSD's sprawling campus. I've given a...

Frontiers Lecture: The Twisted Universe

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The center of the Milky Way, seen here in an image from the Spitzer Space Telescope, is the source of an intriguing gamma-ray signal that could...

Please visit my UCSD website for more information about me

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Please visit my UCSD website for more information about me...

My Reading List

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Great Popular Cosmology Books I've read all these books and they have all influenced my...

Must Read Articles

Elected Fellow of the American Physical Society (APS) in 2016

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Source: APS Physics | https://www.aps.org/ : Keating, Brian [2016] University of California, San Diego Citation: For his role in designing the Background Imaging of Cosmic Extragalactic Polarization (BICEP) experiment to...

Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), 2007

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Source: National Science Foundation | https://www.nsf.gov/ : Brian Keating Affiliation: Astronomical Sciences NSF Directorate: MPS Gender: M Award Year: 2006 Citation: For his work on the Background Imaging of Cosmic Extragalactic...

Angel Flight West Event Features Volunteer Pilot, Astrophysicist Brian Keating

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Angel Flight West command pilot and UCSD astrophysicist, Brian G. Keating, PhD Read article in CISON PRWeb: "Dr. Keating's presentation lived up to its title: "Extreme Astronomy...

Exploring the South Pole Telescope

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Image Credit: Jeffery Donenfeld By far one of the most impressive structures here at the south pole is the South Pole Telescope. This gigantic microwave telescope...

Sam's Salon: Standing on the Shoulders Of A Giant

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Listen to it in Podomatic "R. Buckminster Fuller was famous for his ability to inspire those he taught and worked with to dedicate their lives to the...

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