Who is this?

Ryan Reece in 2012, photo by Roger Peters

Hi! I am Ryan Reece, an experimental particle physicist working with the ATLAS experiment at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN. I was fortunate enough to be working at CERN from 2009-2013, during the start-up of the LHC, and contributing to one of the experiments that discovered the Higgs boson. Now I am a postdoctoral fellow with the Santa Cruz Institute for Particle Physics at the University of California Santa Cruz. You can read more about my research at my website at SCIPP.

What’s he talking about?

I have a few purposes for this blog. First, I hope to communicate some of what makes me excited about science and critical thinking, and why I think they are important. Science shouldn’t be intimidating. Science is a way of getting informed about reality. It alarms me that misunderstandings about science and what it has revealed about nature are clearly the crux of many of the ongoing cultural, political, and philosophical battles. To whatever small measure, I hope to clarify some points about the scientific worldview where I can.

I’m likely to go-on about topics in physics that inspire me, but I intend to keep most of the discussion accessible to those with a general interest in science. I also plan to share some tips for students trying to learn physics or someone considering diving into an education in science. Hopefully others will find some of it useful.

As an amateur, I’ve had a long-time interest in philosophy, and the way it attempts to address many fundamental issues. I have a growing interest in developing and defending many aspects of naturalism (the meta-philosophy that roughly says science should bootstrap philosophy) and may expound opinions on the related topics of structural realism, hypothesis testing, and the epistemology of the scientific method.

Does this guy think he knows everything?

Absolutely not. Life, science, philosophy… are all really hard, and everyone is trying. I really appreciate constructive criticism from other truth-seekers. I’d be grateful for any comments you have about this blog.

A maxim I endorse is being a skeptic. I think it’s generally not a good idea to believe claims for which you don’t have good reasons or evidence. Let’s see if we can figure out what those are: “good” reasons and evidence. In the words of Matt Dillahunty, “I want to believe as many true things, and as few false things, as possible.”

Where do I start?

As this blog grows, I will outline a map of the series of posts in the Guide to this blog. Start there.

I also have a tumblr where I try to map out philosophical positions in figures: philosophy-in-figures.tumblr.com

My web presence elsewhere

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this blog are my own and do not necessarily indicate the opinions of my employer or anyone else.

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