CAPE CANAVERAL Fla. – During the launch of the Juno spacecraft, I had the opportunity to hear Bill Nye “The Science Guy” speak. He is a very motivated speaker, obviously very passionate about what he does, and also obviously biased.
Allow me to explain. During his comments about the cancellation of the James Webb Telescope he stated something to the affect that, while he agreed that it was way over budget and obviously mismanaged, the correct course of action was to fix the management. Fix the problems that plagued the telescope, but don’t cancel it.
Wow! Sound familiar? Many said the exact same thing about the Constellation Program only to be drowned out by the litany of NewSpacers and Obamanauts. Now that something they care about is underneath the accountant’s axe, this policy suddenly makes sense? Sorry, but you can’t have it both ways.
I had the opportunity to interview Nye just minutes after he made his comments regarding the JWST. He then went on to espouse the value of living within our means and talked about being financially responsible. It was directed at human space flight and it seemed to be in direct opposition to how he thought the JWST should be treated. Sorry, you can’t place your pet projects above those of others.
Nye is not being intentionally singled out; he just had the misfortune of making the same argument for JWST that others made for the Constellation Program. The difference being that he was not derisively jeered for making it. The point of this entire editorial is simple; double standards should not be tolerated.
Nye is an intelligent guy. That said, his camp can’t have it both ways. Treatment for one severely mismanaged program (JWST) should be afforded to other programs, whether they are your favorites or not. What is good for the goose, is good for the gander. To make the argument otherwise marks your argument as hypocritical at best.