Monday, August 1, 2011

SaveJWST Campaign Update

Greetings Science Warriors:

Just a reminder...the James Webb Space Telescope is in Trouble.

This blog represents efforts by volunteers to bring awareness to the possibility that Congress may vote to cut funding for this amazing new chapter in the Human Story. That vote will be coming to the United States House of Representatives very soon, although we do not yet know the exact date. The House Appropriations Subcommittee concerning Commerce, Justice, and Science has already voted NOT to further fund the JWST. Now we are waiting to discover the date that this bill goes to vote for the entire US House of Representatives.

Hopefully, the US House of Representatives will understand that the JWST is important not just for securing science jobs here in the US, but also important for keeping the United States on the forefront of the current scientific revolution and for keeping the US competitive internationally. Most importantly, the JWST will be a beacon of understanding our place in the universe. JWST will usher in a new wave of scientific discoveries and see near to the beginning of time. Hopefully, the US House of Representatives will understand this, too.

While we are waiting for official confirmation of the date of the full vote in the House of Representatives, we should be about the business of getting the word out about saving the JWST. Doing your part is easy. Simply follow the following steps:

  1. Sign the petition at [Click here to do so now]
Just recently, the number of petitions signatures has reached 3,500 signatures! For only 20 days of active signature collecting, this is a fantastic effort and it shows without a doubt that the telescope is important to many people. Some of you may be asking yourself, "what good can online signatures do?" To this, we say that the petition is only a representation of the interest the people have in JWST. For the ultimate good that you can do, follow step 3 [contacting your representatives]. For the petition, when the time comes, we will be be able to show elected officials and the nation the impressive amount of petition signatures we will have, and those people in turn will see it as a measurement of the will of the people. If you are a resident of the United States of America, then sign it now. 

     2. Like the Facebook Page [Click here to do this now]

The Facebook fan page is like the petition in one important distinction; it will ALSO act as a measurement of the will of the people. The Facebook page will also, unlike the petition, be a rallying point for updates and news concerning the effort to save the James Webb Space Telescope. Check in frequently to learn about new articles concerning the JWST, for news about the battle to deprive the JWST of funding, and to interact with other Science Warriors who, like you, are putting in their support for this most important Next Step in the story of Humanity. 

      3. CONTACT YOUR REPRESENTATIVES [Click here to find them]

By far, the most important thing you can do is to contact all of your Representatives and Senators and let them know that you are a supporter of the JWST and they you want to continue the telescope's funding. Call them. Email them. Write them via snail mail. Each representative will have a preferred method they they respond best to. With just a tiny bit of research, you can find out if an email or a phone call will have the best chance of reaching them. Regardless of how contact is achieved, DO CONTACT them. This one step will save the JWST from Congress's own shortsightedness. 

      4. Spread the Word

After you taken these steps, it is also crucial that you tell others what you've done and why you've done it. Ask them if they support keeping the United States at the forefront of science in the world. Ask them if it is important to them that Humanity know it's place in the universe, that we try to understand just what the universe is and how it has come into being. Ask them if they, too, will contact their representatives. Then, show them how. 

Ladies and gentlemen, as soon as we know the date of the next vote in the House of Representatives, we will tell all of you via Twitter, Facebook, the Petition, and this blog. Stay tuned for new information about the JWST funding battle. Also, feel free to browse this blog for past posts on what kinds of science experiments the JWST will perform, guest posts from people in Astronomy and other sciences who will speak about the JWST, as well as updates on the legal battle to come. 

And before we say anything else, we would like to let you know about the Northrop Grumman website advocating for the James Webb Space Telescope. If you didn't already know, NG is the contracted company that is constructing the telescope's major components. It is a really nice site that includes a media gallery, an information center, and most importantly it has a "Take Legislative Action" center. It is an impressive effort on behalf of those involved with the telescope's creation. Be sure to check it out, and to use it as a tool to help spread the word about JWST. 

Fight on, Science Warriors. 


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