Sean O’Keefe, the NASA administrator who named the telescope in 2002, mentioned in an electronic mail that Webb was “a champion of training, expertise, science, aeronautics and human exploration.”
“Arguably, have been it not for James Webb’s willpower to satisfy probably the most audacious imaginative and prescient of his time, our capability to discover at this time could be starkly totally different,” Mr. O’Keefe mentioned. “He launched complicated programs administration — a self-discipline to harness the distinctive technical functionality of NASA at the moment.” Mr. O’Keefe added that he was unaware of any proof that Webb was accountable for the Lavender Scare.
In Might, NASA promised a full investigation by its performing chief historian, Brian Odom. On Sept. 27, the company issued an announcement from the present NASA administrator, Invoice Nelson, saying, “We’ve got discovered no proof right now that warrants altering the title of the James Webb House Telescope.” Since then, no in depth report has been forthcoming.
This has infuriated many astronomers, and a few 1,200 have signed a petition calling for the telescope to be renamed. “Below Webb’s management, queer folks have been persecuted,” the petition reads, partly. “Those that would excuse Webb’s failure of management can not concurrently award him credit score for his administration of Apollo.”
On listening to Mr. Nelson’s announcement, Dr. Walkowicz abruptly resigned their publish on the NASA Astrophysics Advisory Committee. “This flippant, pathetic response to the very cheap questions raised by the astronomical group relating to JWST’s title sends a transparent message of NASA’s place on the rights of queer astronomers,” they wrote in a web based assertion. “It additionally speaks clearly to me that NASA doesn’t deserve my time.”
In an electronic mail, Dr. Prescod-Weinstein mentioned she was annoyed on the lack of promised transparency. Furthermore, she mentioned, the declare of “no proof” was too robust, because it instructed that Webb was not accountable for the homophobia — well-documented — that his group promulgated throughout his tenure at NASA.
“If he’s not accountable for the unhealthy stuff that occurred whereas he was in cost, why is he accountable for the good things?” Dr. Prescod-Weinstein mentioned. “It appears there’s a little bit of double-think taking place right here, the place folks assign him accountability for the issues they like about his legacy and faux that he’s solely accountable for the issues they like.”