In a bizarre, but very on-brand turn of events for 2020, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has issued a press release apologizing for “insensitive” titles for “cosmic objects.”
The press release, issued on August 5, explained that certain “cosmic nicknames” used unofficially by the scientific community were “not only insensitive, but actively harmful” and advised that NASA was examining its use of these nicknames as part of its “commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.”
Among those blacklisted names were the “Eskimo Nebula” and “Siamese Twins Galaxy,” of which NASA states it will only use the official designations of NGC 2392 and NGC 4567 and 4568.
“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.
On Twitter, NASA wrote of the changes that it was “working to address systemic discrimination and inequality in the scientific community.”
Twitter users ruthlessly slammed the announcement, with some calling it “white guilt motivated panic.”
Over the last few months, several major corporations, sports teams, and organizations have come out and made significant changes to their operations on the backs of the George Floyd-motivated anti-racism movements sweeping the U.S and Canada. Most recently, the Edmonton Eskimos and Washington Redskins chose to change their names and logos.