Scientific discovery is often perceived as associated with a single act of genius or a moment in time that changes one's thinking and scientific discourse. Most scientists know that this perception is almost always far from reality. Scientific discovery is reached through long, persistent effort from groups of people who are willing to take risks and are not afraid to fail. Equally important is that funders of scientific research appreciate the need for such persistent effort and do not look only for easily identifiable, short-term benefits. We may occasionally recognize historic ‘moments’, but these often occur because of the less famous but equally important advances that came before, often over decades of work.
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As a long-term member of the LIGO Scientific Collaboration (LSC), the author is grateful to all LSC members for their enormous contributions that led to the LIGO discoveries.
The author declares no competing financial interests
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The European Physical Journal Plus (2019)