Brian Keating

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Brian G. Keating
Brian Keating.jpg
Brian Keating at the site of the POLARBEAR telescope at Cerro Toco, Chile, January 2012.

Brian G. Keating is a professor of physics and astronomy at the Center for Astrophysics & Space Sciences in the Department of Physics at University of California, San Diego.[1][2]


Keating's research area is the study of cosmic microwave background and its relationship to the origin and evolution of the universe. In 2001 Keating conceived the first Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) B-mode observing campaign, called BICEP (Background Imaging of Cosmic Extragalactic Polarization), located at the South Pole. In 2014 the BICEP2 successor project announced that it had found evidence of B-modes.[3][4][5] Keating is Co-Principal Investigator of the Simons Array, a Cosmic Microwave Background polarimetry experiment which consists of three POLARBEAR-2 type receivers located at the James Ax Observatory in the Atacama Desert in Chile. These are successor to the original POLARBEAR experiment which measured B-Modes in 2014.[6] In 2016, Keating became Director of the Simons Observatory, Cosmic Microwave Background experiment co-located near the Simons Array and ACT telescopes in northern Chile.[7]

Losing The Nobel Prize[edit]

Keating published the book Losing the Nobel Prize in 2018.[8] It describes the BICEP and BICEP2 experiments, located at the South Pole, devised to detect and map the polarization of the cosmic microwave background radiation leftover from the big bang. BICEP2's data showed strong polarization signals that were later shown to be caused by interstellar dust.[9] In the book, Keating argues that the Nobel Prizes in science have strayed from their original intent of Alfred Nobel's will, and may hinder scientific progress by fostering unnecessary, and sometimes destructive, competition by limiting credit to only 3 living individuals per prize.[10] Keating points out that the prizes have been biased against female, and younger scientists.[11]


Keating received the Buchalter Cosmology Prize in 2014,[12] and in 2006 was awarded the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers by the National Science Foundation.[13] Keating is a Fellow of the American Physical Society.[14]


  1. ^ "UCSD Department of Physics Faculty Profile". UCSD Physics Department. Retrieved January 15, 2019.
  2. ^ Johnson, Dana. "UCSD Center For Astrophysics and Space Science". UCSD Physics. Retrieved January 22, 2019.
  3. ^ Reich, Eugenie Samuel (July 29, 2013). "Long-Predicted Polarization Detected in the Cosmic Microwave Background". Scientific American. Retrieved January 11, 2019.
  4. ^ Klesman, Alison. "Writer". Astronomy. Kalmback Publishing Company. Retrieved 3 January 2019.
  5. ^ Wolchover, Natalie (September 21, 2014). "'Big Bang Signal' Could All Be Dust". Quanta Magazine.
  6. ^ "POLARBEAR detects B-modes in the cosmic microwave background: Mapping cosmic structure, finding neutrino masses," Science Daily, Oct. 21, 2014
  7. ^ Robbins, Gary. "Reporter". San Diego Union Tribune. San Diego Union-Tribune, LLC. Retrieved 3 January 2019.
  8. ^ Mueck, Leonie (May 2, 2018). "The seduction of a scientist". Retrieved January 11, 2019.
  9. ^ Halpern, Paul (April 16, 2018). "After dust stymies a quest to confirm cosmic inflation, a physicist questions science's most prestigious award". Science Magazine. Retrieved January 6, 2019.
  10. ^ McKie, Robin (September 30, 2018). "Why Nobel Prizes Fail 21st Century Science". The Guardian. Retrieved January 11, 2019.
  11. ^ Cowen, Ron. "The trouble with the Nobel prize". Nature. Springer Nature Publishing AG. Retrieved January 3, 2019.
  12. ^ Brown, Susan (January 6, 2015). "Cosmology Prize Recognizes 'Inventive' Proposed Test of Fundamental Physics". UCSD News. Retrieved January 11, 2019.
  13. ^ "National Science Foundation". National Science Foundation Awards. National Science Foundation. Retrieved 3 January 2019.
  14. ^ "APS Fellow Archive". American Physical Society. Retrieved 3 January 2019.