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When It Comes To Spaceflight, Gender-neutral Language Matters (Slate)

In many ways, NASA is slow to change. That’s not surprising;...
Po'Goy
  07/20/17
One giant leap for huwomanity.
~~(>' ' )>
  07/20/17
underrated
metaphysique
  07/20/17
Isn't the point of space travel to escape libs?
*<[]:D
  07/20/17
...
give us today our daily humiliation
  07/20/17
...
HodlUpHodlUpWait
  07/20/17
...
A Mistletoe is Performed
  07/20/17
...
The Master Purchase Agreement that Dripped Blood
  07/20/17
...
don't run son halford sees you
  07/20/17
...
Muscadine wine (R., S.C.)
  07/20/17
...
cannon
  10/12/17
calling them ASStronoughts is homo centric should be call...
George W. Bush painting
  07/20/17
we didn't deserve to make it to the moon.
fragglestick car
  07/20/17
...
.,.,...,..,.,.,:,,:,..,:::,.,;.,:,.,..:.,:..:.::,.
  07/20/17
wtf
Don Kihote
  07/20/17
"Words matter." Why the FUCK do so many libs sa...
,.,...,..,.,.,;:,.:,.,.,::,..,..,:,.,.:.:.,:.::,.
  07/20/17
Black Lives Matter.
HodlUpHodlUpWait
  07/20/17
What woman who is worth anything to NASA doesn't understand ...
~~(>' ' )>
  07/20/17
Don't be mean to Julia
The Master Purchase Agreement that Dripped Blood
  07/20/17
...
.,.,.,,..,.,,..,,....,.,.,.,.,.,
  07/20/17
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die unfehlbare Zone
  07/20/17
...
don't run son halford sees you
  07/20/17
...
Po'Goy
  10/12/17


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Date: July 20th, 2017 12:57 AM
Author: Po'Goy

In many ways, NASA is slow to change. That’s not surprising; it’s a government agency, for one thing, and for another being a tad conservative isn’t such a bad feature when you’re trying to put people into space safely.

But even NASA is ahead of a lot of the curve when it comes to language used when talking about spaceflight. The terms “manned” and “unmanned” have fallen out of favor with the space agency: The NASA History Program Office Style Guide now specifically states that “All references referring to the space program should be non-gender specific.” The only exceptions are for names of buildings and programs; these are—pardon the expression—grandfathered in.*

I think this is great! Words matter. Using more inclusive words is a tacit invitation to people of all flavors, and diversity = strength.

My friend Emily Lakdawalla wrote about this on her blog for the Planetary Society (the comments there are interesting, too, so be sure to check them out as well). The topic came up again when a few science communicators were trying to come up with a good substitute for “manned” and “unmanned.” A lot of us use “crewed,” but as Emily points out (and as I have said many times) it sounds like “crude” when spoken aloud, which can cause momentary confusion for an audience. I’m still not sure what might be best there. “Crewless” works well for “unmanned,” though.

Phil Plait

PHIL PLAIT

Phil Plait writes Slate’s Bad Astronomy blog and is an astronomer, public speaker, science evangelizer, and author of Death From the Skies!

I did a quick search and found that I used the word “crewed” in a post way back in 2007, though it’s unclear if I did that to be more inclusive or just to switch my word usage up a bit. I stopped using the word “manned” a few years ago, though (except when quoting someone, or referring to something like the Manned Maneuvering Unit). I did that when I got into a conversation on this very topic on Twitter with some science communicator friends a while back. I’m a balding, bearded, middle-aged white guy, the very picture of stereotypical science dork. If I figured this out, others can too.

I know a few folks will froth and fume over this change; some people get very hot and bothered when others want to be more inclusive. But things like this cost us very little, and the payoff is large. Even if the cost were higher it wouldn’t matter, because it’s the right thing to do.

Everyone deserves to feel welcome when it comes to math, science, and tech … really everywhere. There’s no way to know from someone’s sex, skin color, or superficial characteristics what they might contribute. We all have brains. What we all need is a chance—and the environment—to participate.

(http://www.autoadmit.com/thread.php?thread_id=3679859&forum_id=2#33814466)



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Date: July 20th, 2017 12:59 AM
Author: ~~(>' ' )>

One giant leap for huwomanity.

(http://www.autoadmit.com/thread.php?thread_id=3679859&forum_id=2#33814474)



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Date: July 20th, 2017 1:24 AM
Author: metaphysique

underrated

(http://www.autoadmit.com/thread.php?thread_id=3679859&forum_id=2#33814556)



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Date: July 20th, 2017 12:59 AM
Author: *<[]:D (5000 mcg B12/wk, 150 mcg iodine/day, 250 mg algal DHA-EPA/day)

Isn't the point of space travel to escape libs?

(http://www.autoadmit.com/thread.php?thread_id=3679859&forum_id=2#33814478)



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Date: July 20th, 2017 1:00 AM
Author: give us today our daily humiliation (uspo)



(http://www.autoadmit.com/thread.php?thread_id=3679859&forum_id=2#33814481)



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Date: July 20th, 2017 1:07 AM
Author: HodlUpHodlUpWait



(http://www.autoadmit.com/thread.php?thread_id=3679859&forum_id=2#33814506)



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Date: July 20th, 2017 8:03 AM
Author: A Mistletoe is Performed



(http://www.autoadmit.com/thread.php?thread_id=3679859&forum_id=2#33815115)



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Date: July 20th, 2017 8:04 AM
Author: The Master Purchase Agreement that Dripped Blood



(http://www.autoadmit.com/thread.php?thread_id=3679859&forum_id=2#33815116)



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Date: July 20th, 2017 8:13 AM
Author: don't run son halford sees you (and icu)



(http://www.autoadmit.com/thread.php?thread_id=3679859&forum_id=2#33815156)



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Date: July 20th, 2017 8:18 AM
Author: Muscadine wine (R., S.C.)



(http://www.autoadmit.com/thread.php?thread_id=3679859&forum_id=2#33815175)



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Date: October 12th, 2017 11:51 AM
Author: cannon



(http://www.autoadmit.com/thread.php?thread_id=3679859&forum_id=2#34424909)



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Date: July 20th, 2017 1:00 AM
Author: George W. Bush painting (Miss me yet?)

calling them ASStronoughts is homo centric

should be called VAGINAnoughts.

(http://www.autoadmit.com/thread.php?thread_id=3679859&forum_id=2#33814479)



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Date: July 20th, 2017 1:01 AM
Author: fragglestick car

we didn't deserve to make it to the moon.

(http://www.autoadmit.com/thread.php?thread_id=3679859&forum_id=2#33814489)



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Date: July 20th, 2017 1:02 AM
Author: .,.,...,..,.,.,:,,:,..,:::,.,;.,:,.,..:.,:..:.::,.




(http://www.autoadmit.com/thread.php?thread_id=3679859&forum_id=2#33814491)



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Date: July 20th, 2017 1:03 AM
Author: Don Kihote

wtf

(http://www.autoadmit.com/thread.php?thread_id=3679859&forum_id=2#33814493)



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Date: July 20th, 2017 1:03 AM
Author: ,.,...,..,.,.,;:,.:,.,.,::,..,..,:,.,.:.:.,:.::,.


"Words matter."

Why the FUCK do so many libs say this? They literally DONT FUCKING MATTER YOU STUPID KIKES

(http://www.autoadmit.com/thread.php?thread_id=3679859&forum_id=2#33814494)



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Date: July 20th, 2017 1:08 AM
Author: HodlUpHodlUpWait

Black Lives Matter.

(http://www.autoadmit.com/thread.php?thread_id=3679859&forum_id=2#33814510)



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Date: July 20th, 2017 1:19 AM
Author: ~~(>' ' )>

What woman who is worth anything to NASA doesn't understand synonyms?

(http://www.autoadmit.com/thread.php?thread_id=3679859&forum_id=2#33814543)



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Date: July 20th, 2017 8:04 AM
Author: The Master Purchase Agreement that Dripped Blood

Don't be mean to Julia

(http://www.autoadmit.com/thread.php?thread_id=3679859&forum_id=2#33815117)



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Date: July 20th, 2017 1:28 AM
Author: .,.,.,,..,.,,..,,....,.,.,.,.,.,




(http://www.autoadmit.com/thread.php?thread_id=3679859&forum_id=2#33814563)



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Date: July 20th, 2017 8:04 AM
Author: die unfehlbare Zone (* .)



(http://www.autoadmit.com/thread.php?thread_id=3679859&forum_id=2#33815119)



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Date: July 20th, 2017 8:12 AM
Author: don't run son halford sees you (and icu)



(http://www.autoadmit.com/thread.php?thread_id=3679859&forum_id=2#33815155)



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Date: October 12th, 2017 11:50 AM
Author: Po'Goy



(http://www.autoadmit.com/thread.php?thread_id=3679859&forum_id=2#34424905)