NASA drops ‘insensitive’ nicknames including ‘Eskimo Nebula’
- Guest Posts
- August 10, 2020
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has declared that they will quit utilizing nicknames of heavenly bodies that are culturally insensitive.
In an announcement released on Wednesday, Aug. 5, NASA said that it had become evident that specific cosmic nicknames were uncaring as well as effectively hurtful and that they were finding a way to address foundational segregation and imbalance in all parts of the field.
“As an initial step, NASA will no longer refer to planetary nebula NGC 2392, the glowing remains of a Sun-like star that is blowing off its outer layers at the end of its life, as the “Eskimo Nebula,” NASA said in the statement. “Eskimo” is widely viewed as a colonial term with a racist history, imposed on the indigenous people of Arctic regions. Most official documents have moved away from its use.”
NASA additionally said that they would quit alluding to a far off cosmic system as the “Siamese Twins Galaxy.”
“NASA will also no longer use the term ‘Siamese Twins Galaxy’ to refer to NGC 4567 and NGC 4568, a pair of spiral galaxies found in the Virgo Galaxy Cluster,” the statement from NASA said. “Moving forward, NASA will use only the official, International Astronomical Union designations in cases where nicknames are inappropriate.”
“Siamese twins” is an out of date term that references a couple of Siamese-American conjoined twins during the 1800s who routinely showed up in what was known as “freak shows” at that point.
Nicknames are frequently given to celestial bodies and are regularly alluded to by them instead of their official names, for example, Barnard 33, otherwise called “the Horsehead Nebula” due to what it looks like.
However, NASA said these “seemingly innocuous” nicknames can be hurtful and eventually detract from the science.
“I support our ongoing reevaluation of the names by which we refer to astronomical objects,” said Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate at Headquarters, Washington. “Our goal is that all names are aligned with our values of diversity and inclusion, and we’ll proactively work with the scientific community to help ensure that. Science is for everyone, and every facet of our work needs to reflect that value.”
Going ahead, NASA said that they will be working with diversity, inclusion and equity specialists to give exhortation and direction to assigned nicknames.
“These nicknames and terms may have historical or culture connotations that are objectionable or unwelcoming, and NASA is strongly committed to addressing them,” said Stephen T. Shih, Associate Administrator for Diversity and Equal Opportunity at NASA Headquarters. “Science depends on diverse contributions, and benefits everyone, so this means we must make it inclusive.”
There has been a social retribution in the months after the demise of George Floyd because of four police officers in Minneapolis and NASA is the most recent association to join any semblance of an ever-developing rundown – close by any semblance of the Washington Football Team, melodic gatherings “The Chicks” and “Lady A,” and food products, for example, Aunt Jemima, Mrs. Butterworth’s and Dreyer’s Grand Ice Cream who declared it was dropping the brand “Eskimo Pie” after a century – in looking at the intensity of names.