Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Some Words from David Gaynes, Director of the Documentary "Saving Hubble"

(Science Warrors: Below is a guest post from the director of the documentary Saving Hubble, David Gaynes.)

To the Save JWST Community: Keep Fighting!

David Gaynes, Director of Saving Hubble
My name is David Gaynes and I am the director of Saving Hubble, a soon-to-be-completed documentary film about the people's successful battle to reinstate the Hubble Space Telescope in 2004-2005 (the film pairs that story, cleverly I hope, with reflections about humans and our connection to the universe). I am writing to ask for your support of our project, specifically because the success of Saving Hubble will also mean support for the saveJWST movement. We want to promote your cause and we want you to be our partners in letting the world know about Saving Hubble and our ambitious, non-profit, cross-country, grassroots distribution tour: The Hubble Roadshow.

Information about what Hubble Roadshow is about is online at our Kickstarter page:

Following is an excerpt of a letter I wrote in support of JWST to members of AURA, the organization that would ultimately administer the scientific use of Webb (as it does Hubble, via STSCi):

"The James Webb Space Telescope is in danger of being defunded at the hands
Hubble in Action
of a Congress whose shortsighted goals of slashing budgets will force us to relinquish our scientific and technical leadership. We are currently outinvested and in danger of being outperformed by other nations and this has grave consequences for our national prosperity, the educational prowess of the next generation of American citizens, and most importantly, the prospect of a deepened human understanding of the natural universe (something that affects citizens of the world, which has always been the highest contribution of American Democracy to human civilization)."

"As Webb continues to be jeopardized by a leadership that can't be trusted
to speak on behalf of its citizenry, we must demonstrate that the American public understands and values the innovation that has always been
the hallmark of our great democracy. The Hubble Roadshow and the
documentary Saving Hubble wish to contribute to the growing chorus of
people who believe that Webb, like the long embattled Hubble, like the
tragically defunct Supercollider, needs our voice. Understandably, there
are many issues that Americans of different political beliefs can and
should be passionate about. Space, a great unifier among policy debates, is the rare issue where we can establish consensus among traditional political enemies and is precious, exceptional opportunity regular citizens have to speak
on behalf of humanity above nationality. It is America's great pride to
have dreamt, built, launched, fixed, and operated the Hubble Space
Telescope. It is our great shame when we take programs that have been the
recipient of tremendous investment, that are universally accepted to be of
the highest scientific value, and abandon them. Hubble was saved more than
once from the shortsightedness of elected representatives. Webb, an
endeavor of Hubblesque proportion and scientific magnitude must not suffer because of a politicized, ineffectual legislature. This is the time to invest in our future, inspire the next generation, and lead the world to a new level of awareness."

Thank you for the opportunity to share what I'm doing with you. Let's all continue to do what we know in our hearts is the right thing, the only thing: we must stand up for humanity's right to comprehend the universe!

David Gaynes
Director, Saving Hubble


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