NOAA Employees Have More Freedom to Speak Than NASA Employees

NASA Reaffirms Agency Scientific Integrity Policy

"Specifically, it is NASA policy that NASA employees wishing to speak to the media or the public about their work shall notify their immediate supervisor and coordinate with their public affairs office in advance of interviews whenever possible, or immediately thereafter, and are encouraged, to the maximum extent practicable, to have a Public Affairs Officer present during interviews. If Public Affairs Officers are present, their role will be to attest to the content of the interview, support the interviewee, and provide post-interview follow up with the media, as necessary."

U.S. climate agency NOAA loosens media restraints, Reuters

"The lead U.S. government agency for climate and weather research unveiled a new policy that will allow its scientists to speak freely to the media and the public about their research without prior permission, the agency's administrator said on Wednesday."

NASA Scientific Integrity Response Under Fire, earlier post

"The present document responds to the May 5, 2011, request. As NASA demonstrated in its April 2011 report to OSTP, NASA already has a variety of policies in place to ensure scientific and engineering integrity."

Keith's note: This is in sharp contrast to NOAA's newly revamped science integrity policy. This could not be more stark: NASA employees "are required" to coordinate with PAO in advance, NOAA employees are not.

NASA POLICY: "(f) All NASA employees are required to coordinate, in a timely manner, with the appropriate public affairs officers prior to releasing information that has the potential to generate significant media, or public interest or inquiry."

NOAA POLICY "Researchers are encouraged (but not required) to take advantage of the media expertise of their operating unit's public affairs office and/or to provide that office with advance notice. The role of the public affairs office is to assist with presentation, style, and logistics of the communication, not to alter its substance."

"Ensuring Scientific Integrity at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration", released today, says "NASA employees may, but are not required to, speak to the media and the public about their work (14 CFR 1213.105(c) and (h)). Specifically, it is NASA policy that NASA employees wishing to speak to the media or the public about their work shall notify their immediate supervisor and coordinate with their public affairs office in advance of interviews whenever possible, or immediately thereafter, and are encouraged, to the maximum extent practicable, to have a Public Affairs Officer present during interviews.

Keith's note: In this document NASA employees "shall notify their immediate supervisor and coordinate with their public affairs office". At NASA "shall" = "required". NOAA employees are only "encouraged" to inform their PAO about any comments they make i.e. its optional.

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This page contains a single entry by Keith Cowing published on December 16, 2011 5:32 PM.

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