Many scientists believe that the name James Webb evokes a dark period in American history and use only the abbreviation telescope.
James Webb Space TelescopeGOOD JWST, named after James Webb, director of the United States Space Agency (NASA) at the time the agency was developing the Apollo program that took humans to the Moon. During the 1950s and 1960s, Webb also held numerous senior positions within the U.S. government in the areas of diplomacy and homeland security.
This was also the time when the American government had the policy of tracking down and removing homosexuals from state agenciesalso called “Fear of lavender” policy from the 1950s.
The main mirror of the James Webb Space Telescope
The main mirror of the James Webb Space Telescope, capable of tracking red light from the most distant galaxies. (Photo: NASA).
History of homophobia
When he began leading NASA in 1961, Webb was partly responsible for implementing an anti-gay policy, according to an article by a group of astronomers published in Scientific American. Webb had been aware of this policy since the 1950s, and the exclusion of homosexuals from government was implemented by those who worked under him.
Many other scientists have also spoken out against the Webb name for the telescope, saying the name evokes a dark and hateful period in American history, and have called on NASA to change the name.
“It is hypocritical of NASA to insist on crediting Webb for progress during his leadership, but not to ‘credit’ Webb for the problems of that period,” he said. said the team of astronomers Chanda Prescod-Weinstein, Sarah Tuttle, Lucianne Walkowicz and Brian Nord. These four astronomers started a petition asking NASA to change the name of JWST.
However, the $10 billion proposal to change the name of the telescope has so far been rejected twice by NASA. The agency said internal investigations found no evidence that Webb was directly involved in anti-gay policies. This decision by NASA continues to cause frustration in the astronomy world.
“Ignore” the name of James Webb
“I don’t need proof that Webb personally oversaw the firing of LGBTQ+ people to know that this name does not represent the future of astronomy research”said Rolf Danner, one of the chairs of the American Astronomical Society’s Committee on Sexual and Gender Minorities.
“Personally, I am disappointed that NASA is not changing the name of JWST”said McKinley Brumback, another member of that committee.
Despite NASA’s decision, many astronomy communities are taking steps to remove the name “Handmade” to omit the name of James Webb. The Royal Astronomical Society of London has adopted a policy of using only the abbreviation JWST in its publications, instead of the full name of the telescope.
The American Astronomical Society announced that astronomers were abbreviated to JWST at the first mention in the article. Normally, this Association requires writing the full name at least once before abbreviating it.
This controversy will cause NASA to think more carefully about the naming of future devices, according to Nature. The decision to name JWST was made unilaterally by Sean O’Keefe, former director of NASA, without consulting the community.
NASA said it would convene a committee in the future to proceed “in-depth historical and legal review” before choosing names for space devices and programs.
Article source: Zing
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Scientists believe that James Webb is talking about a dark period in American history and only uses the abbreviation telescope. Telescope…