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SYFY WIRE Bad Astronomy

“Planetary Science Deserves Special Attention Because It Is Special”

By Phil Plait

You may know Bill Nye as the Science Guy, but heâs also a passionate supporter of scientific research and CEO of The Planetary Society, a phenomenal group that advocates for planetary exploration.

For the past couple of years, NASAâs budget for planetary mission has been on a bizzare roller coaster of cuts, restoration, political wrangling, and outright byzantine manipulation (see âRelated Postsâ below for details). In the end, the lionâs share of cuts to planetary exploration have come from the White House.

Nye took to YouTube to record an open letter to President Obama, asking him to restore Americaâs role as a global leader of science, specifically solar system science.

As usual, Nye is eloquent and persuasive. The Planetary Society has a page set up to help you contribute to the campaign, either financially or through getting the White House (and other political leaders) to hear your voice. Please go and make yourself heard.

I wholeheartedly (and perhaps more importantly, whole-brainedly) agree with what Nye said:

âSupporting a robust space program raises everyoneâs expectations of whatâs possible⦠itâs inherently optimistic. Itâs part of our national character.â

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