Taking the cake: Groundbreaking gravitational wave accidentally revealed in tweet
Thursday’s groundbreaking gravitational wave embargo was accidentally broken in a tweet about a cake - by a researcher who had previously broken a science embargo in a tweet about a cake.
There had been rumors of a gravitational wave breakthrough for months ahead of the official announcement, when - just minutes before the embargo was lifted - a picture of a cake confirming the existence of the waves emerged online.
The culprit behind the leak was Erin Lee Ryan, a research associate at the University of Maryland who is based at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center.
So....about space rocks everyone *changes subject*— Erin Ryan (@erinleeryan) February 11, 2016
Now, you might say Ryan wasn’t to know, it was an exciting day, she got carried away.
This isn’t the first time she has broken an embargo and foiled a scientific announcement... with a cake tweet:
In her defense, a picture of the grativational waves celebration cake was also tweeted by astrophysicist March Kuchner, shortly before the embargo was lifted:
.@marckuchner Did the cake decorator have to sign a non-disclosure agreement?— Fred Bortz (@FredBortz) February 11, 2016
Erin has taken the debacle in her stride, even changing her Twitter bio to “infamous cake tweeting embargo breaker”.
Once? Unfortunate. But twice? As Wilde said, twice is definitely careless.
Today is the day me and cake photos will live in infamy.— Erin Ryan (@erinleeryan) February 11, 2016
Now that I've had a piece of the cake, I can report it is a delicious sugar delivery device!— Erin Ryan (@erinleeryan) February 11, 2016