58: Adam Riess: A Nobel Mind on a Cosmic Quest


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Nobel Prize-winning astronomer Adam Riess is my guest on this episode of INTO THE IMPOSSIBLE. Adam was an essential character in my book, Losing the Nobel Prize. Though at the top of his field, Riess is relentlessly passionate about perfecting his craft and he credits curiosity as the force that sustains his career. Riess and I discussed cosmological controversies including inflation, the Hubble tension, and primordial magnetic fields. We also discuss legacies, prize money, Albert Einstein's ability to transfix physicists and laypeople. 

  • 07:02 Curiosity is the key to a fulfilling career in science.
  • 18:22 9% and why it matters.
  • 26:00 Einstein was a victim of bad data.
  • 33:02 Resolving Hubble tension.
  • 40:56 The pursuit of extraordinary evidence.
  • 52:03 What ethical will does Adam plan to leave behind?
  • 53:28 What would Adam put on a billion year old time capsule?
  • 55:44 What wisdom would Adam share with his younger self?
  • 57:53 How did Adam spend his Nobel Prize winnings?

Adam Riess was a recipient of the 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics. He is a Bloomberg Distinguished Professor, and the Thomas J. Barber Professor in Space Studies at the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences at Johns Hopkins University. He is also an Astronomer at the Space Telescope Science Institute. He received his PhD in Astrophysics from Harvard University with Bob Kirshner. Adam Riess talks about his latest paper on the podcast "Cosmology Talks" here: https://youtu.be/2LN6dJi0og

Find Adam Riess on the web: https://www.stsci.edu/~ariess/

Into The Impossible is a Production of the Arthur C. Clarke Center For Human Imagination. http://imagination.ucsd.edu

@imagineUCSD Our four areas of exploration are:

  1. The neuroscience of imagination
  2. Science fiction and speculative culture
  3. Space and the cosmos
  4. Art and science as tools of the imagination

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