Wednesday, December 1, 2021

NASA adviser quits after request to change name of James Webb telescope denied

An adviser for NASA wrote an open letter on Tuesday on why they decided to quit after a request to change the name of the James Webb Space Telescope was denied by the agency.

Lucianne Walkowicz, who is nonbinary, wrote that they were resigning “because NASA’s handling of the questions regarding James Webb as a choice for naming its next flagship mission has made a farce of this [NASA Astrophysics Advisory] committee.”

The letter was also sent to NASA Astrophysics Advisory Committee. 

A petition circulated earlier this year calling for the name of the James Webb Space Telescope to be changed. The telescope is named after former NASA administrator James Webb, who also served in a high-level role at the State Department. Critics say he allowed for the dismissal of gay and lesbian federal employees, including in the instance of Clifford Norton who worked at NASA, NPR reported.

The efforts to change the name were unsuccessful, with NASA telling NPR that after investigating the issue, the name of the telescope would not be renamed.

“We have found no evidence at this time that warrants changing the name of the James Webb Space Telescope,” NASA administrator Bill NelsonClarence (Bill) William NelsonNASA won’t rename James Webb Space Telescope despite controversy FAA unveils new system to reduce planes’ times on taxiway Technology is easy but politics is hard for NASA’s Lunar Human Landing System MORE told the radio news outlet.

Walkowicz — who has an asteroid named after them — said that the response by the agency to not consider changing the name ​​”sends a clear message of NASA’s position on the rights of queer astronomers. It also speaks clearly to me that NASA does not deserve my time.”

“After the past year and a half we’ve had with not only the pandemic, but also national grappling with issues of racism and human rights, it boggles the mind that NASA has so little insight into its own participation in systematic oppression,” they added in their letter. “What, for example, does it mean for NASA Headquarters to rename its address to “Hidden Figures Way”, when NASA itself hid the figures of Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughn, and Mary Jackson to begin with?”

The Hill has reached out to NASA for comment.

Source

Related Articles

AirPods 3 just crashed to an all time low price in this Amazon Cyber Week deal

Cyber Monday deals have now transitioned into Cyber Week sales, which means there's still plenty of savings on great headphones, especially when it comes...

New Zealand backs killer robot ban as U.S., Russia downplay weapons risks

Lethal autonomous weapons systems, also called “killer robots,” can identify, target and kill without human input, according to the Future of Life Institute. They...

Global extinction event led to evolution of weapon-like teeth in marine reptiles

The discovery of a new fossil from central Colombia could shed light on the evolution of marine reptiles. The well preserved metre-long skull discovered...

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisement -

Latest Articles

AirPods 3 just crashed to an all time low price in this Amazon Cyber Week deal

Cyber Monday deals have now transitioned into Cyber Week sales, which means there's still plenty of savings on great headphones, especially when it comes...

New Zealand backs killer robot ban as U.S., Russia downplay weapons risks

Lethal autonomous weapons systems, also called “killer robots,” can identify, target and kill without human input, according to the Future of Life Institute. They...

Global extinction event led to evolution of weapon-like teeth in marine reptiles

The discovery of a new fossil from central Colombia could shed light on the evolution of marine reptiles. The well preserved metre-long skull discovered...

Microsoft’s Minesweeper ugly Xmas sweater has already sold out

It’s that time of year again and Microsoft released its annual themed ugly sweater for the Christmas season. In previous years, we’ve seen homages...

NIO Inc. (NYSE:NIO), General Motors Company (NYSE:GM) – Chinese Budget-EV Startup Neta Reports 372% Rise In November Deliveries

Chinese electric vehicle startup Neta Automobile recorded a 23.5% rise in deliveries compared to a...