Every year, the Nobel Prize reminds all of humanity to appreciate all that we’ve achieved scientifically, and to be aware of how that newfound knowledge has impacted us as a species. To a scientist, it can be an exercise in frustration, as it’s a reminder that in any sub-field of their discipline, there are dozens of projects whose research is important and impactful enough to deserve a Nobel, and yet only three people per award can receive it. Additionally, women and people of color have been systemically passed over in instances where their contributions were indispensable to Nobel-winning research.
This year’s physics prize goes to three individuals — Jim Peebles, Michel Mayor and Didier Queloz — for discoveries in theoretical cosmology and exoplanets. At last, looking into space and existentially dreaming of what’s out there, and then physically/astronomically discovering it, has its own Nobel Prize.