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News item - Political appointees at NASA suppressed science

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  • Todd S. Greene
    Excerpt from: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/03/science/earth/03nasa.html [go to link for full article] NASA Office Is Criticized on Climate Reports by Andrew
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 4, 2008
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      Excerpt from:
      http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/03/science/earth/03nasa.html
      [go to link for full article]

      NASA Office Is Criticized on Climate Reports
      by Andrew C. Revkin
      (New York Times, 6/3/2008)

      Two years after James E. Hansen, the leading climate scientist at
      NASA, and other agency employees described a pattern of distortion and
      suppression of climate science by political appointees, the agency's
      inspector general has concluded that such activities occurred and were
      "inconsistent" with the law that established the space program 50
      years ago.

      In a 48-page report issued on Monday as a result of a request in 2006
      by 14 senators, the internal investigative office said the activities
      appeared limited to the headquarters press office.

      No evidence was found showing that officials higher at NASA or in the
      Bush administration were involved in interfering with the release of
      climate science information, the report said.

      It also credited Michael Griffin, the agency administrator, for
      swiftly ordering a review and policy changes when the pattern came to
      light after articles in The New York Times early in 2006.

      The report, signed by Kevin H. Winters, assistant inspector general
      for investigations, criticized what it said was a sustained pattern of
      activities, largely supervised by senior political appointees, that
      included muting or withholding news releases on global warming and, at
      least in Dr. Hansen's case, limiting a scientist's interactions with
      reporters.

      "Our investigation," the report said, "found that during the fall of
      2004 through early 2006, the NASA Headquarters Office of Public
      Affairs managed the topic of climate change in a manner that reduced,
      marginalized or mischaracterized climate change science made available
      to the general public."

      The report said most evidence supported contentions that politics was
      "inextricably interwoven" into operations at the public affairs office
      in that period and that the pattern was inconsistent with the
      statutory responsibility to communicate findings widely, "especially
      on a topic that has worldwide scientific interest."

      --------------------------------

      Other related articles:

      NASA appointees suppressed climate data, report says
      by Stewart M. Powell
      (Houston Chronicle, 6/3/2008)
      http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/space/5815215.html

      NASA's own watchdog: Agency misled on global warming
      by Seth Borenstein
      (Associated Press, 6/3/2008)
      http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5i-fo9VF-W4wxLy-opPvOK9ZvCl9QD9127KVG0

      NASA watchdog says press office distorted climate studies
      by Michael Winter
      (USA Today, 6/2/2008)
      http://blogs.usatoday.com/ondeadline/2008/06/nasa-watchdog-s.html

      Investigative Summary Regarding Allegations that NASA Suppressed
      Climate Change Science and Denied Media Access to Dr. James E. Hansen
      (NASA Office of Inspector General, 6/2/2008)
      http://www.spaceref.com/news/viewsr.html?pid=28174

      Actions Needed to Ensure Scientific and Technical Information Is
      Adequately Reviewed at [NASA]
      (NASA Office of Inspector General, 6/2/2008)
      http://www.hq.nasa.gov/office/oig/hq/audits/reports/FY08/IG-08-017.pdf
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