On April 13, 2019, the front pages of every major newspaper were adorned with the “first-ever” picture of a black hole – an invisible astronomical object popularized by J. Robert Oppenheimer around the same time that the nuclear bomb was developed. This blurry picture was heralded as a triumph of modern data analysis techniques involving terabytes of data analyzed by a team of PhD students led by a media savvy PhD student. In my talk, I will place this event in historical context as a representation of changing interpretations of the scientific method.
Dr. Kirsten Hacker spent twenty years within the physics community before deciding to pursue more independent projects. Writing satirical novels about science wonderland led to an online marketing effort including commentary on the state of physics research and science communication. She has learned that sometimes you can see a problem more clearly when you are not stuck in the middle of it.