“On Thursday, with great fanfare, officials from the U.S. National Science Foundation and U.K. Research and Innovation announced a $30 million project to double the sensitivity of the antennas for the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory, or LIGO, which stunned the world three years ago by detecting space-time ripples from colliding black holes.
Only the day before, NASA had announced the selection of its newest astronomy mission: a satellite that will map the entire sky, including millions of galaxies, stars and planets, in three dimensions and 96 colors….
….Neither announcement would be big news by itself. New projects are springing up all the time….
…. But the close timing of the announcements is a reminder of an aspect of science that gets scant attention. Especially at Nobel Prize time, we applaud a few heroic Einsteins for their moments of inspiration and discovery. But much of the real action in science occurs on the sidelines, often years before any wizardry in the lab….”
Read the full New York Times article: “In Science, as in Sports, the Sidelines Matter“, by Dennis Overbye.
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