The Duck of Minerva

The Duck Quacks at Twilight

The Social Construction of Knowledge


August 24, 2006

Everyone knows that there are 9 planets:

Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto

which you remember by saying My Very Eager Mother Just Served Us Nine Pickels (or some variation on the theme.

Except that now, there are only 8 planets.

Pluto just got demoted.

So, a once critical fact, an immutable truth about the nature of the solar system has now changed.

Plus, I really feel bad for all those Pluto scholars out there who once studied the most mysterious planet and now just study a dwarf object or whatever. Its kind of like being a specialist on the Soviet General staff in the late 80’s….
(not really, but I couldn’t resist the obscure reference)

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Dr. Peter Howard focuses on US foreign policy and international security. He studies how the implementation of foreign policy programs produces rule-based regional security regimes, conducting research in Estonia on NATO Expansion and US Military Exchange programs and South Korea on nuclear negotiations with North Korea.