Sure, there are probably somewhere between six and a dozen quite important theoretical astrophysicists around the world who would have been thrilled at the news (after all, the diamond planet fills a gap in the binary pulsar family). But in the overall scheme of things, it isn’t that important. And yet the diamond planet has been hugely successful in igniting public curiosity about the universe in which we live. In that sense, for myself and my co-authors, I suspect it will be among the greatest discoveries of our careers. Our host institutions were thrilled with the publicity and most of us enjoyed our 15 minutes of fame. The attention we received was 100% positive, but how different that could have been. How so? Well, we could have been climate scientists.
I write books, albeit slowly. I'm a freelance editor for hire. My favorite form of chocolate is the type that, perversely, contains the least actual chocolate, but on balance I'd be just as happy with, like, a bowl of vanilla-flavored sugar or a nice Charentais melon.