As reported in ENV by Anika Smith...Supervisors at NASA's prestigious Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) illegally harassed and demoted a high-level computer system administrator for expressing support of intelligent design to co-workers, according to a discrimination lawsuit filed in California Superior Court.
The lawsuit was filed by attorneys on behalf of David Coppedge, an information technology specialist and system administrator on JPL's Cassini mission to Saturn, the most ambitious interplanetary exploration ever launched. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory is a NASA laboratory managed by the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) where robotic planetary spacecraft, such as the Mars Rovers, are built and operated. Coppedge was a "Team Lead" Systems Administrator on the Cassini mission until JPL demoted him for allegedly "pushing religion" by loaning interested co-workers DVDs supportive of intelligent design.
"For the offense of offering videos to colleagues, Coppedge faced harassment, an investigation cloaked in secrecy, and a virtual gag order on his discussion of intelligent design," said attorney Casey Luskin of Discovery Institute's Center for Science and Culture. Luskin serves as a consultant to the Coppedge lawsuit. "Coppedge was punished even though supervisors admitted never receiving a single complaint regarding his conversations about intelligent design prior to their investigation, and even though other employees were allowed to express diverse ideological opinions, including attacking intelligent design."
If you want to stand up for academic freedom, there are three people who need to hear from you...
First, call 818 354-4321 and ask for Director of JPL Dr. Charles Elachi, respectfully letting him know that your tax dollars should never be used to fund discrimination against a government employee.
Second, you can call and email President of Caltech Jean-Lou A. Chameau (626-395-6301, firstname.lastname@example.org) and politely tell him that you support David Coppedge. Caltech oversees the JPL and has some jurisdiction.
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