Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Does "breakthrough" imply first?

Slashdot is reporting on what appears to be a NASA press release about a "breakthrough" computation of the merger of two black holes. It's always good for physics to get such exposure. However, the article hardly gives any credit to other groups who have reported similar (if not better) results somewhat before them:

Progress also has been made independently by several groups, including researchers at the Center for Gravitational Wave Astronomy at the University of Texas at Brownsville.

Of course, this is just a press release, and from NASA no less (for an example of the problems faced by the NASA PR office see here).