In 2006 the International Astronomical Union (IAU) demoted Pluto: It no longer held its position as the ninth planet from the Sun, but became one of five “dwarf planets.”
Technically, this was the right decision: Pluto did not meet the criteria for being a planet, which is “a celestial object large enough to be made rounded by their gravitational orbit around the Sun and to have shooed away neighboring planetary objects and debris.”
Emotionally, this decision was deeply controversial. Pluto has been part of a long tradition of space discovery. It was my favorite planet as a child, and I’m sure I was not the only one.
The demotion of Pluto made the Astronomical Union a bureaucratic, spiteful and almost soulless entity in the eyes of many. Instead of inspiration, it created resentment.
This is the difference between being right and being effective. Often, we are so focused on convincing others of the truth, that we forget our real objectives.
The worst kind of “being right” is “being technically right.”
Pluto as a Planet lives on in our hearts….