There are plenty of dead scientists I admire, but I can't think of any living ones. This is probably because it is only in retrospect that one can see who made the important contributions.
My goal is simple. It is a complete understanding of the universe, why it is as it is and why it exists at all.
The radiation left over from the Big Bang is the same as that in your microwave oven but very much less powerful. It would heat your pizza only to minus 271.3*C - not much good for defrosting the pizza, let alone cooking it.
I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when its components fail. There is no heaven or afterlife for broken down computers; that is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark.