Wednesday, May 27, 2020

What Would An Exploding Heads Day Be Without A Heaping Helping Of Weinstein?

dr.brian.keating |  In part one of our extensive conversation, we cover his Geometric Unity theory and the value of scientific theories in general.

As a mathematician and an economist, Eric is uniquely suited to understanding how ideas have contributed to human civilization — and what we’re losing out on when academia throttles them. His perspective that, “[Professors] need the freedom of a billionaire without the wealth of one,” is a spin on something Ralph Gomory, president of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, told him:

“The bargain was always that you weren’t going to get super rich as a professor, but you would have the freedom that came from your job. And that’s how we got great people. When we lost freedom, we stopped being able to compete effectively for the top people.”

Having Eric on the show challenged me to consider my approach to the interview. Though an expert in experimental physics, it is beneficial to be reminded about the contributions of theoretical study. His allegory that the tailor who sews on the last button of a coat shouldn’t get all the credit is powerful. Think of the creative spark, the person who sketches, then finds practical materials, the engineers who bring instruments into the equation, and all the other pieces of the puzzle.

In this interview, Eric says, “The scientific method is actually the radio edit of great science” and that is really striking. It is important to remember that the unedited version exists, even if it doesn’t make it through all the noise very often.