More news about NASA (and the White House science suppression)

More news about NASA (and the White House science suppression)

More news about NASA (and the White House science suppression)

Bad Astronomy
The entire universe in blog form
Feb. 27 2006 1:30 PM

More news about NASA (and the White House science suppression)

More news is coming out about scientific suppression by the White House.

This San Jose Mercury News article reports that the EPA rejected advice from a scientific panel about pollution standards. This article continues to list the problems in other agencies.

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!  

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NASA Administrator Mike Griffin was on NASA TV just today talking about various subjects, and was asked point-blank about all this, including the George Deutsch nonsense. He said (paraphrased only slightly as I was writing it down as quickly as I could):

Clearly, there was a situation... where at least one misguided individual was trying to insert his religious belief [into a scientific process].

He made a plea (literally) for people to report it when they think something like this is happening. However, he made what sounded to me like a thinly veiled allusion to climatologist Jim Hansen (who was being suppressed by Deutsch), saying "Not every piece of science is newsworthy," meaning that maybe what Hansen was trying to say wasn't really news. If this is what Dr. Griffin mean, I disagree with him: Hansen's reports were in fact news; his editorial in the UK Independent made that clear.

Griffin also made various statements saying that Deutsch was a lone gunman, and that NASA has no policy of suppression. He admitted that NASA policy on public affairs and the dissemination of science news needs revision, and that a committee is even now discussing what should be done.

That's welcome news. I hope it pans out.