Scientists make waves with their publicity efforts
scientists hailed the detection of gravitational waves from the merging of two neutron stars. Chinese observational technology played key roles in this. An article published by Beijing News comments:
Albert Einstein first forecast the existence of gravitational waves, or the ripples in space and time, in 1916. Now they have been detected five times.
Unlike the past four times when the gravitational waves came from the merging of two black holes, this is the first time that the waves have been produced by the merging of two neutron stars.
What makes the news more significant for China is that some of its astronomical observation technologies, including its first X-ray detection satellite HXMT and South Pole automatic telescope AST3-2, have played key roles in detecting the gravitational waves this time. The Purple Mountain Observatory of the Chinese Academy of Sciences even released the news together with NASA.
Actually, Chinese astronomers have been participating in and leading many gravitational wave projects. Their participation in the detection of gravitational waves this time shows Chinese technology is being sharpened, and it will definitely make more progress in the future.
More important, by sharing the news and knowledge with the public, the importance of scientific research can be better understood by people, which in turn results in more favorable policy support for scientific research and encourages more talented young people to embark on careers in science.
The scientists and their institutions that participated in the detection of gravitational waves this time have done very well by releasing the information on time and publishing the news via social media. In the future, Chinese scientists could do more by further sharing their knowledge with the public, so that the latter knows more about them and offers them more support.