Ryan

PhD (Molecular Parasitology)

Studying speciation and ontogeny
Currently full time at SPi

What did you want to be when you were younger?

When I was really young I used to make tents in the house. It seems I was keen to be an adventurer…but I couldn’t forgo the comforts! From the age of 5 I became absorbed in tennis; stepping on the court I felt transformed into a different person. Someone serious, and ready to dog fight it out until the end! (Michael Chang and Andre Agassi were my gurus.)

For you, what is personally the most exciting/revolutionary/useful discovery to come out of science in your lifetime?

My background has been in molecular biology, and as you’ll know, that doesn’t say much nowadays since every biologist and their dog is a molecular biologist. HIV and protozoan parasites fascinated me. They’re just so weird! They don’t play by the rules, and I like that. When I heard at university that HIV breaks the Central Dogma of biology, I recall sitting in St Mary’s library in Paddington for hours and hours…painstakingly I was trying to wrap my brain around how they turn RNA back into DNA. Seriously cool!

Who are your role models?

Bruce Lee used to be, but it has changed over the years. Nowadays, I have what I see as mentors, but two famous people who have inspired me are Milton Erickson and Victor Frankl. The former was a visionary in the psychological arena, and used the severe adversities he faced in order to propel him in his expertise as a hypnotherapist. Regarding the latter, just read his book – Man’s Search for Meaning – then you’ll know why.

Where do you see the future of science ideally?

We’ve got to proverbially come out of the closet and just be honest…consciousness is the elephant in the room. If we accept this as a community and invest some incredible minds into understanding what it is, I think the future of science is beyond what we can currently conceive of (and not just in the cheesy way we saw in Limitless).

How is the Atma Perspective model of reality going to change the world?

I stopped wondering many years ago about interesting questions such as the nature of consciousness, because of two reasons – 1. I was informed that we can explain everything by looking at the brain (and I believed it); 2. I forgot that it matters.

The Atma Perspective offers something extraordinary to science; a unifying framework within which all results fit very nicely. I mean, where else are you going to find that? It has significant implications not only within academia, but also for the public at large…what to mention healthcare and technological applications.