Censorship of Science
NASA Chief Backs Agency Openness - New York Times: "'It is not the job of public-affairs officers,' Dr. Griffin wrote in an e-mail message to the agency's 19,000 employees, 'to alter, filter or adjust engineering or scientific material produced by NASA's technical staff.'
The statement came six days after The New York Times quoted the scientist, James E. Hansen, as saying he was threatened with 'dire consequences' if he continued to call for prompt action to limit emissions of heat-trapping gases linked to global warming. He and intermediaries in the agency's 350-member public-affairs staff said the warnings came from White House appointees in NASA headquarters.
Other National Aeronautics and Space Administration scientists and public-affairs employees came forward this week to say that beyond Dr. Hansen's case, there were several other instances in which political appointees had sought to control the flow of scientific information from the agency.
They called or e-mailed The Times and sent documents showing that news releases were delayed or altered to mesh with Bush administration policies.
In October, for example, George Deutsch, a presidential appointee in NASA headquarters, told a Web designer working for the agency to add the word 'theory' after every mention of the Big Bang, according to an e-mail message from Mr. Deutsch that another NASA employee forwarded to The Times.
And in December 2004, a scientist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory complained to the agency that he had been pressured to say in a news release that his oceanic research would help advance the administration's goal of space exploration."