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About High Proof


Hello, readers!

This is Ryan writing from High Proof. I wanted to give a little introduction to what High Proof is all about. My friend Joel and I met in college, and as we went through courses together while studying neuroscience, we were amazed at all the fundamental findings, some of them decades old, which are not known by the broader public. Many of these findings have the potential to really change the way that we think about ourselves and how we interact with others.

Neuroscience is uniquely positioned to synthesize and explain much of this scientific thought. The discipline, still quite young, is positioned at an intersection of many fields, including cognitive psychology, evolutionary biology, genetics, computer science, medicine, philosophy, chemistry, mathematics…the list continues to grow. Through this dramatic synthesis, neuroscience promises to address questions about the very nature of thought itself–the brain is being shown to be the ‘seat of the soul,’ and one of the primary revolutions of thought in neuroscience is the assumption that all mental phenomena have a physical correlate.

Accepting the assumption that humans are strictly physical creatures can lead to dramatic changes in how one sees the world. We will work on this assumption in this writing and in our podcast; even if you disagree with this precept, we would invite you to try on the perspective as we take you on a tour of modern science! There is a richness to the world that can be captured by understanding the physical phenomena beneath it, and we hope to open small windows to that richness.

Looking forward to having you along,

Ryan and Joel



Season 3 Episode 8 – Interview with Sean Horan

In this podcast, Joel and Ryan interview Ryan’s colleague Sean Horan, currently a PhD student in mathematics at UC Irvine. Sean came to biology from a mostly mathematics/data analysis background. We talk about Sean’s research, where mathematicians fit in to science, and how STEM education can fail students.


The Importance of Animal Models with Bethany Wagner


In this cast, Ryan flies solo and interviews the irrepressible Bethany Wagner. They discuss the challenges–ethical, legal, and personal–of working with animals in order to model human disease. Though these models allow insights often impossible to gain in simple cell culture or test tube systems, no model system is perfect.