Democracy vs. Meritocracy: How science doesn ‘t care about your vote
Ethan Siegel

Shapley also miscalculated the distance to the center of the Milky Way, though his mistake is understandable; he used the globular clusters to estimate its location, but we couldn’t see enough of them to make an accurate estimate.

More tellingly, he opposed Hubble on the same issue as was the subject of the Great Debate, until Hubble sent him the light curve from V1 in M31. Shapley called it “the letter that destroyed my universe,” and ultimately pressed Hubble to publish one of the most important papers in the history of astronomy and cosmology, which was the final blow to the hypothesis that spiral nebulae were inside the Milky Way. So give Shapley his chops, when he was sure he was wrong he admitted it and adopted the view he had denigrated before. That’s what real scientists do.

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