NASA Needs to Think Beyond The Mohawk Guy

Dr. John Holdren, Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, 3rd from left, meets with members of the NASA Mars Science Laboratory team on Thursday, August 1, 2013 at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington. August 6, 2013 EDT will mark the first anniversary of the Curiosity rover's landing on Mars. Larger image

Keith's note: I am the first one to complain that NASA does not touch the public as well as it could and am always eager to applaud them when they do. Its nice that "Mohawk Guy" (authentic rocket scientist Bobak Ferdowsi) has energized some subset of the geek chic community. But NASA seems to be obsessively focusing on him and his niche impact while gutting education and public outreach programs across the agency. In addition, while travel is being cut for scientific and technical meetings, Bobak gets to fly all over the place to do receptions and photo ops. Where's the NASA focus on jocks, history majors, people without a career interest, inner city youth, blue collar workers, farmers, accountants, and everyone else who pays taxes and has a stake in what NASA does - and probably doesn't even know what NASA already does for them? How many young people did he actually energize in the OSTP meeting room and at the receptions on Capitol Hill?

So long as NASA stays obsessed with their infrequent home grown media stars such as Mowhawk Guy they will not focus on the rest of us. No offense Bobak, I know you mean well, and that you do a lot of things on your own time out of sincere interest in NASA - and I hope that you continue to do so, but NASA needs to be about much more than a cool smart guy with a edgy haircut.

NASA needs to reach out to the remaining 98/99% of the people who pay the bills and have little or no idea what NASA does or means to their daily lives. NASA does not need to focus its limited resources on nerds who already understand what NASA does. Enough with the choir practice.

Mohawk Guy at State of the Union Address, earlier post

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This page contains a single entry by Keith Cowing published on August 20, 2013 12:43 AM.

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