I just happened to notice a way to gauge the degree of research interest in cosmology---which I think has something to do with its importance in uncovering new physics. What this does is search Stanford's Spires HEP database for the overall most highly cited physics papers that have appeared since year 2000. http://www.slac.stanford.edu/spires/find/hep/www?rawcmd=FIND+TOPCITE+%3D+3000%2B+and+date+%3E+2000&FORMAT=www&SEQUENCE=citecount%28d%29 [Broken] So the question would be, how do you explain the fact that jumps out here. Cosmology used to be a small, comparatively quiet field. Now it is huge. Here is how the list goes: 1) First year Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP) observations: Determination of cosmological parameters. By WMAP Collaboration (D.N. Spergel et al.). Feb 2003. 20pp. http://arxiv.org/abs/astro-ph/0302209 Cited 5351 times 2) Review of particle physics. Particle Data Group. By Particle Data Group (S. Eidelman et al.). 2004. Cited 4273 times 3) Review of Particle Physics. By Particle Data Group (W.-M. Yao et al.). 2006. Cited 3902 times 4) Review of particle physics. Particle Data Group. By Particle Data Group (Kaoru Hagiwara et al.). 2002. Cited 3821 times 5) Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP) three year results: implications for cosmology. By WMAP Collaboration (D.N. Spergel et al.). Mar 2006. 89pp. http://arxiv.org/abs/astro-ph/0603449 Cited 3561 times There must be multiple reasons for this. What do you think they are? New instruments? The fact that cosmology has put both dark energy and dark matter on the table? The sudden increase in the amount of precision data in cosmology? Can you think of other reasons? Access to higher energies than can be produced in artificial accelerators like the LHC? In a certain sense Cosmology now dominates physics. It has become a major driving force for uncovering new physics, comparable to the accelerator boom of the 1960-1990 period. The publication and citation rates merely serve to reflect this. What are the main reasons you think this has happened? I am interested to learn what other people think about this. I have in mind another reason which I haven't mentioned and which I think has been basic to this--so I am curious to see if someone else mentions it.