Who Gets to Use the James Webb Space Telescope?

January 11, 2022

To ensure more equitable access, proposals from researchers competing to use the new James Webb Space Telescope will be evaluated using a process that focuses on their scientific merits rather than on who submitted them. Such an approach aligns with Lindy Elkins-Tanton’s argument in Issues. The United States, she writes, should restructure research funding away from today’s “hero model,” where the biggest names usually win out, and toward multidisciplinary teams suited for targeting society’s most vexing problems. Higher education, she adds, must also be restructured to produce a broader array of people prepared for more socially engaged science.

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