New Revelations Raise Pressure on NASA to Rename the James…

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+534 – New Revelations Raise Pressure on NASA to Rename the James Webb Space Telescope – Scientific American

2022-04-04 13:37:49

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33 Comments
  1. Reply
    fullbody_bodhisattva April 4, 2022 at 7:25 pm

    I always felt they missed an opportunity and should have called it the “double Hubble.”

  2. Honestly, it’s too late. The telescope is too famous for most people to care about any name change.

  3. Why are we naming these after people anyways? My personal experience with 90% of administration is that they are self serving and egotistical. I’m a fan of the Mars rover approach, such names as “Curiosity” and “Perseverance” are inspiring, and make their accomplishments more accessible. I’m all for renaming Webb ‘Harmony’ or ‘Limitless’ and moving on with the science.

  4. Lmao they’ll have to rename every damn thing at NASA if they go down this route. NASA was literally founded by ex German Nazi scientists. Literal Nazis. As vile as some of those guys were we can’t just pretend they weren’t essential to the space program. Erasing their names accomplishes nothing.

  5. First we had to rename it from the Pol Pot-o-tron, and now this?

  6. *Prior to leading NASA, Webb was second-in-command at the U.S. Department of State. In a September 3, 2021, e-mail Nature obtained through FOIA, a redacted writer notes that archival documents paraphrased in a 2004 history book*
    *say, “Webb met with President [Harry S.] Truman on June 22, 1950 in*
    *order to establish how the White House, the State Department, and the*
    *Huey Committee might ‘work together on the homosexual investigation.’” A*
    *large number of LGBTQ+ workers were fired from the State Department*
    *before Webb resigned from his position there in 1952.*

  7. My suggestion is we name it the VANBAT, which stands for Very Aptly Named Big Ass Telescope

  8. Reply
    FindMeOnSSBotanyBay April 4, 2022 at 7:25 pm

    Personally, they could change it to Telly Space McTelescopeface and I wouldn’t care. I just want to see the data!

  9. I mean what kind of persecution? Was he blocking promotions and hirings (granted still wrong and not acceptable) or was he a true monster and abusing and and harming individuals inside and outside of work. I think it’s easy to play historical revisionist now and paint it all in a bad light but also we probably shouldn’t celebrate individuals who were bigots, so I’m torn here. Under a microscope we’re all flawed and do shameful things.

  10. Let this be a lesson for all future naming committees to avoid naming anything after a person. Just name things what they are. Infrared telescope number whatever. Or use some other naming scheme like hurricanes. Or extend the other tradition of elaborate acronyms to telescopes.

  11. I’ve said this before, elsewhere, but most people have really admirable traits in one area and horrible traits in another. The admirable traits that the satellite is named after is perfectly applicable. The other traits have nothing to do with it. The name isn’t a celebration of the less admirable traits, but the more admirable traits. Let’s just keep it at that.

  12. Things like this don’t empower the communities they seek to, they make them a mockery. A dead dude who doesn’t matter has his name attached to something, and the only people who will know who he is will know what he did.

    Did he deserve the honor in the first place? Probably not, but since the issue wasn’t raised or accepted before launch, it isn’t pertinent anymore, and “fighting to change it” is just going to make people be more against the communities that rally behind it. Spend that time actually fighting for your cause and spreading knowledge, instead of dying on stupid hills on the internet because it’s easy, and makes you feel good for doing the bare minimum and arguing with strangers.

  13. Reply
    Dismal-Philosopher-4 April 4, 2022 at 7:25 pm

    I’m kind of open to changing it but there doesn’t seem to be much new in this article apart from NASA having a hard time with it, but they admitted that before afaik.

  14. Jesus this thread is a dumpster fire, brigaded and appalling.

  15. So S.A. published this a while back. March 2021 is new?

    Up until 1968 homosexuality was considered a sociopathic personality disturbance.

    The lavender scare was in the 1950s. The leaders were nescient.

    That’s why that history happened. You have to live through it it understand why the views were wrong.

    All of these guys in the early part of NASA were under extreme pressure. These mistakes are a result of that. Webb made huge advancements for the entire country. Progress is messy.

  16. This isn’t a new realization. People have known about this.

    There isn’t going to be a name change no matter how much people will argue over it.

    However, if anything, we should learn not to name things after people. Just call it something like Voyager that everyone can be cool with.

  17. 400 emails from the 1960’s… This reads like a sick april fools joke.

  18. Acronyms, initialisms, abbreviations, contractions, and other phrases which expand to something larger, that I’ve seen in this thread:

    |Fewer Letters|More Letters|
    |——-|———|—|
    |[CSA](/r/Space/comments/tw28dj/stub/i3d19uo “Last usage”)|Canadian Space Agency|
    |[ESA](/r/Space/comments/tw28dj/stub/i3d19uo “Last usage”)|European Space Agency|
    |[JWST](/r/Space/comments/tw28dj/stub/i3dzguo “Last usage”)|James Webb infra-red Space Telescope|
    |[L2](/r/Space/comments/tw28dj/stub/i3dgp1i “Last usage”)|[Lagrange Point](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lagrangian_point) 2 ([Sixty Symbols](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mxpVbU5FH0s) video explanation)|
    | |Paywalled section of the NasaSpaceFlight forum|
    |[SLS](/r/Space/comments/tw28dj/stub/i3cw0gx “Last usage”)|Space Launch System heavy-lift|
    |[mT](/r/Space/comments/tw28dj/stub/i3e1ww3 “Last usage”)|~~Milli-~~ *Metric* Tonnes|

    —————-
    ^(6 acronyms in this thread; )[^(the most compressed thread commented on today)](/r/Space/comments/tuq2pm)^( has 23 acronyms.)
    ^([Thread #7224 for this sub, first seen 4th Apr 2022, 15:20])
    ^[[FAQ]](http://decronym.xyz/) [^([Full list])](http://decronym.xyz/acronyms/Space) [^[Contact]](https://reddit.com/message/compose?to=OrangeredStilton&subject=Hey,+your+acronym+bot+sucks) [^([Source code])](https://gistdotgithubdotcom/Two9A/1d976f9b7441694162c8)

  19. IDK why but I always think of James Woods. They should just make it the James Woods Space telescope

  20. I’ve always hated the name. Science instruments should be named after scientists. And many NASA science missions *are* named after scientists – Hubble, Galileo, Compton, Chandra, Parker, Fermi, Kepler, Herschel, Spitzer, Ramaty (RHESSI), etc.

  21. Don’t do it NASA, we have to stop caving to this stuff.

  22. wow. this post really brought out the homophobes…

  23. Oh good god. More crying about shit that doesn’t matter.

    If you think the name should be changed I’ll ask you this; why do you think this particular thing is worth the time and energy spent trying to change it? There are far more important issues going on in the world that will see a much larger net positive from you spending time trying to fix it, but instead you are here crying that a telescope is named after an imperfect human being.

    And don’t even try to say that raising awareness for these issues doesn’t stop you from doing both because we both know that you’ll continually avoid trying to deal with the hard issues and instead jump from make change to name change for the sake of “awareness.”

  24. The name is probably not going to change, and this controversy isn’t new. And to be honest, who cares when there are way more problematic things happening in society right now?

  25. Different time, different morals, why does everybody act so butthurt these days?

  26. Wernher von Braun is celebrated as the father of space travel and almost certainly the most important man in NASAs history. He was also a literal Nazi and worked on the V2 Rocket program for the Germans prior to being pardoned via operation paperclip. NASA is not changing the name of its telescope because some guy born in 1906 didn’t like the LGBTQ community. If they went that way they’d have a whole lot of renaming to do.

  27. Sometimes you need to focus on the good things of a persons deeds rather than actively looking for one or two damning actions, opinions or what not to denounce them.

    Most historical figures we have who provided research, discoveries, exploration or what not was also complete fuckwads in other areas. Martin Luthers accomplishments to reform the church are not invalidated because he was an ass or held awful opinions about women or people in the lower strata of society.

    Try to look past the things you dont like about people and find a common ground. Usually a better way to go than constantly looking for another injustice to make right. Besides, changing its name changes nothing today, harm has already been done to the people of his era.

  28. A person should not be demonized by the things they did wrong in your eyes, neither sanctified by the good things, but a knowledge of that this person was human should reign.

    It would be more appropriate for NASA to accept the past, and allow it to change their future rather than try to sweep it under a rug.

  29. Reply
    TaskForceCausality April 4, 2022 at 7:25 pm

    Couple of points here.

    The Apollo program has plenty of skeletons in the closet. Starting with ex-Nazi Werhner Von Braun, who deserved a trial & likely execution by firing squad for his part in the V-2 rockets & the death camps which built them. Instead his Nazi past was carefully laundered, and his work enabled millions of good people to launch missions to the Moon. Then there’s John Glenn, famous astronaut and champion for institutional misogyny. I can keep going.

    The people who point out these historical figures’ flaws are not wrong or misguided. But on a pragmatic level, if we wiped the names of every important scientist or politician with a prejudiced past off the spacecraft and science books , there’d be no point naming anything. The goal isn’t to morally vet what we call projects, but to ensure we’re advancing and exploring.

  30. I’m tired of bullying. I hope they don’t cave.

  31. Reply
    LocutusOfBrussels April 4, 2022 at 7:25 pm

    Yawn. And so the moral panic continues. This weaponised wokecraft is genuinely a cancer on society.

    Go dig up half of what the great scientific minds thought, in line with general societal norms of the time, and they will all be cancelled.

    Still, anything for the struggle session, eh?

  32. Renaming the telescope doesn’t go far enough to heal the offense! They should fire a missile at it and destroy it!

  33. They named the thing after him because Webb was instrumental in pushing the Apollo project and getting the US to the moon first. This push conveniently ignores the fact that LGBT employees in top positions were security risks due to the public view of such individuals at that time. Russian agents were known to blackmail using the threat of public outing for everything from sexuality to infidelity to other vices such as gambling. Whether NASA leadership accepted such lifestyles, the American public in the 50’s and 60’s didn’t, and with the stakes so high an the entire operation under and intense microscope, it wasn’t a risk deemed acceptable by NASA, Congress, the Pentagon or the White House. Dumping all of this on Webb just to bring light to the bigger issue is scapegoating nonsense and detracts from his legitimate contributions to NASA and the exploration of space.

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