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UC San Diego Physics Professor Calls For Nobel Reform

UC San Diego Physics Professor Calls For Nobel Reform


Brian Keating, author, "Losing the Nobel Prize"


Photo caption: The cover of "Losing the Nobel Prize" by Brian Keating.

The cover of "Losing the Nobel Prize" by Brian Keating.

A few years ago, science watchers were sure a new experiment to detect gravitational waves in the cosmos would reveal new insights about the beginnings of the universe. UC San Diego cosmology professor Brian Keating was part of that team. The scientific community thought the work had a real shot at a Nobel Prize in Physics.

But the initial results were quickly found to be faulty. Instead of measuring what they believed was cosmic background radiation, remnants of the Big Bang, Keating and colleagues had instead detected signals from stellar dust.

Keating wrote about what it was like inside that high-stakes experiment in the new book, "Losing the Nobel Prize: A Story of Cosmology, Ambition and the Perils of Science's Highest Honor." He said that pressure can cause scientists to cut corners. He is also pushing for reforms on how the Nobel committee awards its honors.

Keating joins KPBS Midday Edition on Tuesday with more on his hunt for the origins of the cosmos.

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