For those of you who are interested in the subject of NASA’s relations with “the public,” you may be interested in reading my paper, “Fifty years of NASA and the public: What NASA? What Publics?” It reviews the history of NASA’s public relations operations, which from Day One have been led by political appointees and focused on promoting and protecting the NASA “brand.” I presented this paper at NASA’s 50th anniversary history conference in 2008. It is available free online here — Chapter 7, p. 151:
I have published an E-book that proves a great deal of box standard physics to be wrong. These are evidenced by FACTUAL experiments some of which are very well known to the scientists that deal with them. One being the Sagnac (correct spelling) affect which has been brought into the 21st century by the advent of the G.P.S. system, the Global Positioning System. How up to date do they need to be. I see out of date rhetoric being churned out giving the same old nonsense out as fact when it is obviously old and outdated and WRONG.
Please I beg you read what I have placed in my book, and witness my stance against what I feel is a systemic coverup. There are a lot of subjects that have a different answer to the box standard official answers. Take Mr Harlton Arp for example, a world renowned astronomer. He was barred from gaining access to large telescopes because the hierarchy did not accept what he was finding and reporting about red-shift.
Because his reports did not agree with old established theories he was chastised. This means that new information has to be bent and twisted to agree with old theories instead of accepting that the new information gives us a new angle on things and thus states the truth of the real and factual situation. In his book “Seeing Red” he has a section in the front of about 4 pages (from memory), and a complete chapter at the back called academia where he politely criticizes the peer review system. This book is an excellent read by the way and throws doubt on the big bang theory due to what has been observed of the red-shift
If you send me an E-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org I will send you a copy of my book via E-mail which is critical of the whole state of affairs. You can find the book and thus the free bits which is quite substantial at Amazon.com The book is called “Not Relativity: Just Weird Gravity”, and the author is myself, Syd Wilcox.
NASA’s culture is infested by public relations people interested in protecting the Agency’s image at all costs. This behavior goes back to the start of the space race, when our astronauts were shown off as advertisements for the American way of life. The space program was another weapon in the Cold War, in contrast to the Russian program’s secrecy.
NASA has an organizational narcissistic personality disorder. It sounds like most PIO’s are afraid to answer many questions out of fear that the answers will be used against the Agency, with retribution befalling the PIO. The “justification” for NASA’s behavior may be a belief that any blemish or negative reporting will reduce their funding.
Science and exploration are about failure. Failure is hard and it does happen–get used to it! While NASA got off with admirable start without any fatalities until Apollo 1, two (Challenger and Columbia) of the space program’s three major tragedies are directly attributable to NASA management hubris, a “we-can-do-no-wrong” mindset that’s another aspect of NPD. In both cases NASA management poo-hoo’ed fact-based engineering explanations. It took Richard Feynman, a scientist with a brilliant reputation and exceptional communications skills, to blow through NASA’s Challenger stonewalling. It took a live demonstration of a 1.67 lb. piece of foam fired at 530 MPH to demonstrate how a piece of foam lost at lift-off killed seven Americans. Apparently none of NASA’s managers passed Physics 101, where one learns the relationship between energy, mass, and velocity.
Contrast NASA with Elon Musk. It’s odd that a taxpayer-funded organization is secretive and a privately-held business freely admits the cause of its failures. It’s one of the reasons I admire Elon and the SpaceX team. They work furiously to avoid failure and work even harder when it happens.
NASA has made inestimable contributions to space flight and rocket science. But a bit of humility would go a long way, and cooperating with journalists seems like a good way for NASA to promote the brand. But then PIO may stand for “Privacy Information Officer”.
When I had to do a profile of an AS-CAN , class of 2009, for Science Careers, I approached her directly
and then went through the formal channel at NASA after I had her yes.
For a profile, I was given a 15 minute interview — but the scientist was very forthcoming, so it was all good.
Never did get a response from NASA when I later contacted them to see when this candidate would get a chance to go to the ISS. She finally got a chance in 2016.
I have found the folks at NASA-JPL to be a lot more responsive about interview requests.
I think it also depends on which NASA facility you contact. JPL, for example, has always been very quick to reply to my requests and scientists always seem to be on-hand for interviews. Other facilities are slower and I have had a couple of non-replies, which is certainly a frustration.
I wouldn’t be surprised if NASA receives the same requests from many sources and if many requests could be answered with simple web searches. They must get tired of those.
As for FOIA requests, it is easy to make the request so broad that they become more annoying than informing.
I’m not excusing NASA from dealing with the public but they don’t owe any individuals more than their public information office produces.
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