Keith's 7:00 pm EST update: The following response from Dwayne Brown NASA SMD PAO was received by NASA Watch in quick response to questions asked this afternoon:
"1. How long has he worked at NASA, and at Marshall? Answer: 45 years, he started in February 28, 1966
2. Which division does he work for now? Answer: Hoover works in the Space Science Office at Marshall Space Flight Center
3. What is his title? Answer: NASA Scientist. He does not have a Ph.D.
4. Who funds him? Answer: Richard Hoover's salary is funded out of the Marshall Space Science Office and the Center Management and Operations budget. While the funding was not based on a proposal, the Marshall folks tell me they need more time to research funding specifics. Current management was not in place at the time. NASA's Astrobiology Program provided NO support for this work.
5. Did Hoover fill out NASA Standard Form 1676 or get internal review or permission at NASA MSFC to publish this paper? Answer: No. A SF-1676 was not submitted before submission of the paper to the Journal of Cosmology. Submission of a SF-1676 is standard. The SF-1676 on file is for a revised version of the 2007 article that was submitted to the International Journal of Astrobiology. The SF-1676 was approved by Marshall's science management chain for re-submission of the revised article to the International Journal of Astrobiology. Hoover took the advice from a colleague in the astrobiology field to submit the paper to the Journal of Cosmology. No SF-1676 was submitted to or approved by MSFC management for submission of the revised article to the Journal of Cosmology. NASA policies state that papers on topics of this magnitude should be published in scientific journals that conduct rigorous peer review prior to publication. "
Keith's 7:00 pm EST update: How is it that NASA MSFC continued to refer to Hoover as "Dr." Hoover for decades when in fact Hoover does not even have a Ph.D.? Curiously, Hoover overtly claims to have a Ph.D. in the article in the Journal of Cosmology.
Hoover's Ph.D. as of 7 March 7:08 pm EST
Hoover's Lack of Ph.D. as of 8 March 2:33 pm EST
If you Google "Hoover SPIE" you get this as one of the search results "Dr. Richard Hoover: SPIE.org Profile". But when you go the page it says "Mr. Richard Hoover". Alas, the cached Google version of this page shows this page i.e. "Dr. Richard Hoover" i.e someone changed this page in the past day or so. Then there is this 2009 NASA press release "NASA Marshall Center Astrobiologist Richard Hoover Awarded 2009 SPIE Gold Medal" wherein the photo caption refers to "Dr. Richard Hoover". Another NASA release, from 2005 "NASA Finds Life at 'Extremes'" refers to "NASA astrobiologist Dr. Richard Hoover". And so on.
"Other scientists say Hoover, who has worked for NASA in solar physics but now bills himself as an astrobiologist, doesn't have the proper expertise. "Anyone can call himself an astrobiologist. That doesn't make it so," said Pilcher, the astrobiology institute director.
And while Hoover's paper in the journal lists him as a "Ph.D.," NASA's solar physics website does not mention a doctorate. A colleague of Hoover's said he acknowledges that he doesn't have the advanced degree. Schild said someone at the journal -- he doesn't know who -- may have inadvertently listed Hoover with the doctorate title."