Glasnost at NASA
Posted on Mar 31, 2006
The space agency will now allow its scientists to speak to the media without public affairs officials muzzling them.
NASA Administrator Michael D. Griffin unveiled new rules yesterday that govern the release of agency information to news media and the public, his most detailed response yet to embarrassing allegations that NASA’s public affairs office had sought to suppress the release of scientific information not consistent with the views of the Bush administration.
The new eight-page policy, written by an internal team of scientists, lawyers, public affairs specialists and managers, states that NASA scientists are free to talk to members of the media about their scientific findings and even express personal interpretations of those findings—the heart of the controversy that has engulfed the agency since January.
It also makes clear that scientists are not required to have a public affairs officer with them when they speak with members of the media, though Griffin emphasized yesterday in comments broadcast to NASA employees that he believes such behavior is unwise.