Evening Lectures - Ocala

Jeff Phillips

THE TALK: Science, Knowledge, Belief and Human Nature

October 20, 2022


Spend an evening getting to know IHMC’s very own Dr. Jeffrey Brooks Phillips as he pulls away the veil on the true nature of scientific inquiry. Popular culture has distorted the concept of science to represent a collection of irrefutable facts only questioned by the hopelessly ignorant. Dr. Phillips will set the record straight and provide his audience with an insightful glimpse inside the modern laboratory and the commonly misunderstood and misused core principles of science. Dr. Phillips will focus on reframing science as a set of tools, with strict rules regarding their use, that provide a systematic approach to problem solving and discovery. As such, there is no certainty in science nor any fact that is irrefutable. Jeff will show that experimental methods and statistical analyses are objective but interpretation and inference is often very subjective. Viewers will learn that the veracity of any scientific conclusion rests on the integrity of the practitioner, the skill with which they apply logic and reason, and their ability to maintain objectivity despite the risk associated with being proven wrong. Like scientists, science is imperfect and human, making it difficult to determine what is truly known versus what is mere idea or delusion. Join us as we casually explore the core principles of the scientific method and the foggy intersection between knowledge and belief.


Dr. Phillips has been at IHMC since 2017 and has worked in the area of human performance in extreme military environments for over 16 years. Dr. Phillips’ work focuses on the effects of environmental stressors such as hypoxia, breathing resistance, fatigue, motion sickness, and cognitive workload on operator cognitive and perceptual performance as well as mitigation strategies to optimize performance in all settings. While serving as a Department of Defense civilian scientist, Dr. Phillips made numerous significant contributions to operational readiness in Military Aviation and to our general understanding of the effects of extreme environmental stress on human performance. In 2007, Dr. Phillips lead a team that developed scoring algorithms for the Performance Based Measure, one of the U.S. Navy’s aviation selection tests. The Performance Based Measure has saved Naval Aviation over $500,000,000 to date. In 2009 Dr. Phillips identified the hypoxia hangover effect which explained symptomology and performance effects that linger following a hypoxia exposure. Dr. Phillips was also instrumental in restoring the F-22 to flight status following a class-A mishap and an outbreak of life support system problems. Dr. Phillips’ numerous contributions to the U.S. Department of Defense have been recognized through multiple awards and accommodations including the Delores M. Etter Top Scientists and Engineers in the Navy in 2012, and the Department of the Navy Superior Civilian Service Award in 2017.

premier sponsors

lecture cohost

lecture sponsors

season sponsors