[meteorite-list] NASA science-opressor quits

From: batkol <batkol_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Wed Feb 8 11:13:02 2006
Message-ID: <007701c62cca$783457b0$ed98d846_at_DJV2WH71>

NYT article

February 8, 2006
A Young Bush Appointee Resigns His Post at NASA
George C. Deutsch, the young presidential appointee at NASA who told public
affairs workers to limit reporters' access to a top climate scientist and
told a Web designer to add the word "theory" at every mention of the Big
Bang, resigned yesterday, agency officials said.

Mr. Deutsch's resignation came on the same day that officials at Texas A&M
University confirmed that he did not graduate from there, as his r?sum? on
file at the agency asserted.

Officials at NASA headquarters declined to discuss the reason for the

"Under NASA policy, it is inappropriate to discuss personnel matters," said
Dean Acosta, the deputy assistant administrator for public affairs and Mr.
Deutsch's boss.

The resignation came as the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
was preparing to review its policies for communicating science to the
public. The review was ordered Friday by Michael D. Griffin, the NASA
administrator, after a week in which many agency scientists and midlevel
public affairs officials described to The New York Times instances in which
they said political pressure was applied to limit or flavor discussions of
topics uncomfortable to the Bush administration, particularly global

"As we have stated in the past, NASA is in the process of revising our
public affairs policies across the agency to ensure our commitment to open
and full communications," the statement from Mr. Acosta said.

The statement said the resignation of Mr. Deutsch was "a separate matter."

Mr. Deutsch, 24, was offered a job as a writer and editor in NASA's public
affairs office in Washington last year after working on President Bush's
re-election campaign and inaugural committee, according to his r?sum?. No
one has disputed those parts of the document.

According to his r?sum?, Mr. Deutsch received a "Bachelor of Arts in
journalism, Class of 2003."

Yesterday, officials at Texas A&M said that was not the case.

"George Carlton Deutsch III did attend Texas A&M University but has not
completed the requirements for a degree," said an e-mail message from Rita
Presley, assistant to the registrar at the university, responding to a query
from The Times.

Repeated calls and e-mail messages to Mr. Deutsch on Tuesday were not

Mr. Deutsch's educational record was first challenged on Monday by Nick
Anthis, who graduated from Texas A&M last year with a biochemistry degree
and has been writing a Web log on science policy,

After Mr. Anthis read about the problems at NASA, he said in an interview:
"It seemed like political figures had really overstepped the line. I was
just going to write some commentary on this when somebody tipped me off that
George Deutsch might not have graduated."

He posted a blog entry asserting this after he checked with the university's
association of former students. He reported that the association said Mr.
Deutsch received no degree.

A copy of Mr. Deutsch's r?sum? was provided to The Times by someone working
in NASA headquarters who, along with many other NASA employees, said Mr.
Deutsch played a small but significant role in an intensifying effort at the
agency to exert political control over the flow of information to the

Such complaints came to the fore starting in late January, when James E.
Hansen, the climate scientist, and several midlevel public affairs officers
told The Times that political appointees, including Mr. Deutsch, were
pressing to limit Dr. Hansen's speaking and interviews on the threats posed
by global warming.

Yesterday, Dr. Hansen said that the questions about Mr. Deutsch's
credentials were important, but were a distraction from the broader issue of
political control of scientific information.

"He's only a bit player," Dr. Hansen said of Mr. Deutsch. " The problem is
much broader and much deeper and it goes across agencies. That's what I'm
really concerned about."

"On climate, the public has been misinformed and not informed," he said.
"The foundation of a democracy is an informed public, which obviously means
an honestly informed public. That's the big issue here."

----- Original Message -----
From: "Darren Garrison" <cynapse_at_charter.net>
To: <meteorite-list_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Sent: Wednesday, February 08, 2006 9:36 AM
Subject: [meteorite-list] NASA science-opressor quits

Sorry I can't link directly to the NY Times articles, but you have to
to the site to see them (free regestration, but still annoying). Anyway,
the /. link.

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Received on Wed 08 Feb 2006 11:12:30 AM PST

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