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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



Interview with Dan Zollinger, circa Spring 2016


In this blast-from-the-past interview, Ryan and Joel interview Dan Zollinger, who was at the time a post-doctoral scholar at UCSF. We discuss how myelin, the insulating material around the long part of a neuron, is implicated in several neurological diseases; we also discuss the joys of brewing with Dan, who is himself an avid brewer.


Interview With Benjamin Stecher

Joel and Ryan interview Benjamin Stecher, who maintains the blog Benjamin was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease at a young age and now travels the world learning about cutting-edge research from the scientists on the front lines of disease research. We learn about some new and developing treatments for Parkinson’s which may be ready for humans sooner than we expected!

Thanks to Benjamin for his time and expertise!PDStats



13 Reasons Why and To the Bone: Controversial Depictions in Media

Joel and Ryan start off talking about the recent Netflix content To the Bone and 13 Reasons Why. These shows tackle controversial topics (anorexia and suicide respectively) and some schools have had interventions for students to warn against the shows or against suicide.

Your intrepid hosts discuss the benefits of censorship which quickly spins off into a discussion of whether we can know what the good life is and to what extent it’s appropriate to enforce it on people in your society.

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