PDA

View Full Version : Could NASA Be Muzzled Under Trump Administration?



Fraser
2017-Jan-25, 05:00 PM
The Trump Administration appears to be trying to change how government agencies disseminate information to the public. According to reports from multiple outlets, several agencies are being told to discontinue or suppress communications with the public, the media and even Congress. Additionally, Reuters is reporting that the Trump administration has instructed the Environmental Protection Agency […]
The post Could NASA Be Muzzled Under Trump Administration? (http://www.universetoday.com/133006/nasa-muzzled-trump-administration/) appeared first on Universe Today (http://www.universetoday.com).


More... (http://www.universetoday.com/133006/nasa-muzzled-trump-administration/)

Trebuchet
2017-Jan-25, 08:59 PM
Apparently the no politics rule doesn't apply to UT. Good.

danscope
2017-Jan-25, 10:01 PM
The truth will set you free.

Cougar
2017-Jan-25, 10:21 PM
The headline of the linked The Hill article says there's "no plan to take down climate webpages." But then, apparently talking out of the other side of his mouth...



“We’re looking at scrubbing it up a bit, putting a little freshener on it, and getting it back up to the public,” said Ericksen....




"Getting it back up to the public" sounds like it was taken down. Putting "freshener" on it. Cute.

Grey
2017-Jan-25, 10:23 PM
Apparently the no politics rule doesn't apply to UT. Good.I am not a moderator, but I would think this would be an example of one of the exceptions to the no politics rule:


12. Politics & Religion

Since this forum is devoted to science and discussions of politics and religion are both off-topic and tend to incite behavior we discourage, forum participants are generally prohibited from discussing religious and political issues. Please don't begin or contribute to a topic that's merely going to incite or fuel a flame war.

However, the following exceptions apply:

A) Political impact upon space programs, exploration, and science.I'd think that in any such discussion, we'd want to follow Rule Zero and keep the discussion focused and polite.

geonuc
2017-Jan-25, 10:55 PM
In answer to the question: yes, NASA can be muzzled by the Trump administration. At least with respect to official communications. Unofficial? Not so much.

The Backroad Astronomer
2017-Jan-26, 03:48 PM
I think it will be harder and harder to separate politics and science for a while, even in the past it wasn't easy.

danscope
2017-Jan-26, 05:23 PM
" Hey, I don't even have an opinion" .
"What? You have to have an opinion.......BLAMMMMMM!!!" Time to see Winston Wolf .

WaxRubiks
2017-Jan-26, 05:44 PM
Look into this *flash* you did not see the information about clinate change.
Climate change is not real.

BigDon
2017-Jan-27, 04:17 PM
NONE of you remember the last administration acted in complete ignorance of science and business?

The last administration: Tried saving the American public money by cancelling the Orion Heavy Lift and Human Lift program, it will save 2 billion dollars! Then they had to be *told* we already spent 8 billion on it! They fact they had to be *told* that meant they shouldn't have been allowed anywhere near it!

Decided to bypass the Moon, and go straight to Mars! That's high school drop out level of reasoning! It trashed or set back plans that had been in place for decades!

I could go on but emotion is beginning to creep in, so I'll leave those two points for now.

George
2017-Jan-27, 09:19 PM
Although there is responsible journalism here, which shows both sides, I am still unclear what to make of this article. The objective evidence seems to be that there is a transition in process that wishes a lot of stuff from getting out that might require retraction later. [This excludes peer-reviewed work (Dep't of Ag).]

The "muzzling" seems a bit overstated. Even the EPA doesn't seem too bothered with limited public activity, as per the final link in the article giving us "a list of government agencies that have reportedly been directed to not communicate with the public.":

'In their reporting, they quote Doug Ericksen, the communications director for President Trump’s transition team at the EPA, saying that he “expects the communications ban to be lifted by the end of this week.” The EPA’s communications department provided Hearst Television with the following statement: “The EPA fully intends to continue to provide information to the public. A fresh look at public affairs and communications processes is common practice for any new Administration, and a short pause in activities allows for this assessment."'

[my bold]

Spacedude
2017-Jan-27, 10:57 PM
Well.....I still think that we'll see 5 Huge letters emblazoned across the face of the full moon before it's all over....;-)

Swift
2017-Jan-28, 12:01 AM
The "muzzling" seems a bit overstated. Even the EPA doesn't seem too bothered with limited public activity, as per the final link in the article giving us "a list of government agencies that have reportedly been directed to not communicate with the public.":

I'm quoting George's post, but this comment is aimed at everyone.

The question has been raised (appropriately so) as to how CQ's rule on politics (Rule 12) applies to comments posted on CQ (like here in this thread) but about UT blog posts. The Moderation Team is still discussing this, so we have not finalized anything yet.

But the consensus seems to be that Rule 12 applies to these threads (except for the OP post that quotes Fraser or other UT contributors). That means that the ONLY exceptions to Rule 12 are related to Space Exploration, Astronomy, and related.

Discussing the EPA may or may not be within that exception, but it is getting very close. Broadening the discussion to other Federal agencies (for example) is very likely to get folks in trouble.

We will infract people and/or close this thread if it gets out of hand.

BigDon
2017-Jan-28, 04:32 PM
Mr. Swift, this situation is flat out on the folks at UT, and Frasier for repeating it here.

I don't see anything wrong with declaring this whole post a disaster and shutting it down or even better, pulling it altogether. I like the second option myself.

I say this because I spent the night doing my homework comparing administrations, you know, so I could throw actual numbers out. THEN I remembered I'm not that person. This thread can have a bad effect on people.

swampyankee
2017-Jan-28, 04:33 PM
The answer is, of course, "yes": what sort of information is easily available to the public from federal agencies is well within the executive branch's purview.

This is, unfortunately, both very political and very relevant, both to open discussion of science and science policy and, possibly, even the very survival of outlets like this one.

KaiYeves
2017-Jan-28, 05:15 PM
Well.....I still think that we'll see 5 Huge letters emblazoned across the face of the full moon before it's all over....;-)

I'd suggest P-E-A-C-E, but only English-speakers would understand that and it would be unfair to spoil the moon for everyone else.

BigDon
2017-Jan-28, 05:20 PM
Or possibly not Swampy.

This is flat out about party politics. Oooh look what Trump is doing! Evil Trump. Why, he might even return NASA's focus back outward towards space!

Let's ignore the abject vandalism to the US space program the last Administration did because they thought it was a Republican party/ White privilege objective. I actually heard the jackals in the group use those words! Those words and;

The space program leads to National pride, which leads to Nationalism. Nationalism leads to; Racism, Mysogyny, War, you know all the key words of identity politics by now. None of you heard that? Or you just won't say?

So when the present admin tries to kill a 12 year old, *9* billion dollar project, solely to please voters in Chicago, or in his case New York, then come crying about crap.

Remember, Fraiser started this.

WaxRubiks
2017-Jan-28, 06:50 PM
I think UT posts automatically post here.

WaxRubiks
2017-Jan-28, 06:53 PM
I'd suggest P-E-A-C-E, but only English-speakers would understand that and it would be unfair to spoil the moon for everyone else.I think the moon should be covered with panels to make it look like the Death Star, to scare awsy hostile aliens.

Bearded One
2017-Jan-30, 01:01 AM
Long term projects such as many big science projects are hindered by the way our government changes on time scales much shorter than the duration of the project. Every time government changes the new government wants to effect change, this often calls for reports, studies and re-alignment that ultimately adds cost and delays. The Super-Collider, JWST, Pluto Express and the new space initiatives are good examples. The SCSC ended up killed outright, JWST almost got killed a few times, Pluto Express got killed and then reborn in a stripped down version and the future space initiatives are uncertain.

Sometimes the new government want to change the mission, sometimes they just want extra reports and justification, sometimes they just want to spread the work around to benefit their districts. In the end costs spiral out of control often due to no fault of the original project planners.

There's an old saying in engineering: "There comes a time when you have to shoot the Engineers and start production." Our system of government brings on new engineers every 2-4 years and the projects get bogged down. That leads to delays and cost overruns. The new people may well have good ideas, but there is a time when you have to quit changing course and finish the trip.

Jens
2017-Jan-30, 03:50 AM
Long term projects such as many big science projects are hindered by the way our government changes on time scales much shorter than the duration of the project.

I agree, but it's a very delicate problem, not only in the US. The problem is that most of us believe that democracy is best, and if the public turns against a project it should be cancelled, but at the same time science and space exploration require long-term stable government funding (at least for things like space exploration that don't generate income). I don't think there is an easy way out.

Regarding any communication ban or influence, I doubt that new administration has any strong interest in NASA except in the sense that they do work that involves climate change. I think they're pretty busy with other, hmm, issues.