NASA adviser quits right after ask for to transform name of James Webb telescope denied

An adviser for NASA wrote an open up letter on Tuesday on why they made a decision to quit right after a request to improve the title of the James Webb Area Telescope was denied by the company.

Lucianne Walkowicz, who is nonbinary, wrote that they had been resigning “because NASA’s dealing with of the questions relating to James Webb as a option for naming its future flagship mission has built a farce of this [NASA Astrophysics Advisory] committee.”

The letter was also sent to NASA Astrophysics Advisory Committee. 

A petition circulated before this calendar year calling for the name of the James Webb Space Telescope to be modified. The telescope is named following previous NASA administrator James Webb, who also served in a significant-level purpose at the Condition Department. Critics say he allowed for the dismissal of gay and lesbian federal workers, including in the occasion of Clifford Norton who labored at NASA, NPR claimed.

The initiatives to improve the name were unsuccessful, with NASA telling NPR that right after investigating the issue, the identify of the telescope would not be renamed.

“We have found no proof at this time that warrants modifying the identify of the James Webb Room Telescope,” NASA administrator Bill NelsonClarence (Monthly bill) William NelsonNASA will never rename James Webb Room Telescope irrespective of controversy FAA unveils new program to reduce planes’ times on taxiway Engineering is uncomplicated but politics is really hard for NASA’s Lunar Human Landing Technique A lot more explained to the radio news outlet.

Walkowicz — who has an asteroid named right after them — explained that the reaction by the agency to not take into account altering the name ​​”sends a clear message of NASA’s posture on the rights of queer astronomers. It also speaks evidently to me that NASA does not should have my time.”

“After the past calendar year and a 50 % we have experienced with not only the pandemic, but also countrywide grappling with difficulties of racism and human legal rights, it boggles the brain that NASA has so little insight into its own participation in systematic oppression,” they included in their letter. “What, for illustration, does it necessarily mean for NASA Headquarters to rename its deal with to “Hidden Figures Way”, when NASA itself hid the figures of Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughn, and Mary Jackson to start with?”

The Hill has achieved out to NASA for comment.

About the author: Patrick Shoe

General coffee junkie. Infuriatingly humble entrepreneur. Introvert. Extreme zombie practitioner.

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