A Revelation And a Resignation

Thursday, February 09, 2006

A Revelation And a Resignation

From today's New York Times:
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 résumé on file at the agency asserted.

... The resignation came as the National Aeronautics and Space Administration was preparing to review its policies for communicating science to the public.

... many agency scientists and midlevel public affairs officials (have) 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 warming.
So what was it that propelled a 24-year-old, non-college graduate like Deutsch into a powerful position that enabled him to monitor and muzzle NASA scientists?
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 résumé.
Deutsch's educational record was exposed Monday by Nick Anthis, a Texas A&M graduate who writes this blog on science policy.

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