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The four astronomers leading the renaming petition say that when Webb worked for the state department in the high-ranking position of undersecretary from 1949 to 1952, he passed a set of memos discussing what was described as “the problem of homosexuals and sex perverts” to a senator who was leading the persecution. They point to records found in the US National Archives by astronomer Adrian Lucy at Columbia University in New York City. “The records clearly show that Webb planned and participated in meetings during which he handed over homophobic material,” the petition leaders wrote earlier this year in an opinion piece in Scientific American.
In June of 2020, in the wake of the killing of George Floyd, Nord organized a global "Strike for Black Lives" along with Chanda Prescod-Weinstein and the Particles for Justice Group.  Nord authored a letter on the Particles for Justice page titled "How Long Should We Wait?" On June 10th, the day of the strike, over 4,500 academics pledged participation in the strike. Additionally, numerous organizations including Nature, the American Physical Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the American Institute of Physics supported and/or participated in the strike.