Bill Nye's Open Letter To President Obama
The debate over how much funding scientific endeavours should be getting from the government is starting to heat up. After Wednesday's 2 hour congressional hearing about the search for extraterrestrial intelligence, everyone's favorite scientist, Bill Nye, has issued an open letter to President Barack Obama regarding Planetary Sciences. The video serves not only as a plea to Obama, but as a call to the public to "Stand with the Planetary Society and Bill" and write to your elected government official and request funding for planetary sciences.
Nye makes a convincing case for the funding of this noble cause, drawing attention to those '7 minutes of terror' that the world gathered to watch as NASA's Curiosity rover touched down onto Mars. He's right of course. These are the moments that people remember and will continue to be remembered through history.
Arguing that "NASA is the best brand the United States has" Nye states that what NASA does best is explore our solar system and beyond, gaining international respect as they do it. Achieving the unthinkable should not fall down on the government's list of priorities according to Nye and with more budget cuts looming, he and his colleagues at the Planetary Society have rallied to take action.
Nye believes that the budget for planetary sciences should be $1.5 billion dollars annually, a mere 10% of NASA's overall budget. This is a sum that the planetary society believe will fund existing programs, such as Cassini, while also funding missions to Jupiter, Europa and Saturn. So why should planetary sciences get such special treatment? Nye puts it pretty simply:
"Planetary sciences deserve special attention because it is special, it's an extraordinary value which we should maintain or even increase our investment in."
Nye has put into words what so many people across the country believe. The exploration of space should not be put on the back burner while the government balances its books. Science is on the cusp of a new golden age and to cut funding to the people who are taking us there would be an incredible set back.
You can take a stand with The Planetary Society and Bill Nye by writing to the President and Congress at the link provided below: