A Last Chance to Tell the NRC *YOUR* Ideas for Human Spaceflight -- Via Twitter, Space Policy Online
"The National Research Council's (NRC's) Committee on Human Spaceflight is offering everyone a last chance to provide their ideas on the future of the human spaceflight program via a Twitter chat tomorrow, October 29, 2013. This is the first time the NRC is using social media to obtain input from the public. Anyone who wants to participate should tweet their ideas using the hashtag #humansinspace. Input will be accepted during a 27 hour period on October 29 -- from midnight Eastern Daylight Time through the next midnight Pacific Daylight Time."
Keith's note: "Everyone"? I don't think so. The SSB only told a handful of people about this last minute Twitter thing. What is really odd is that they did not even bother to inform the media or larger websites that could help spread the word. Indeed, they only told their panel members at the last minute. Oddly, just last week, NAS SSB staff specifically asked me to come in to talk to them on this topic and promised to keep me in the loop on things like this. So much for that.
I am not certain how the NAS SSB expects to get much input if they hide notices on their website and only drop a hint on one or two inside the beltway websites and tweet once to accounts with a hundred or so followers. Yes, I know things go viral easily - but a little strategic thinking and some serious visibility could have been achieved. Indeed, what about the rest of the 300 million people (i.e. "everyone") who pay to operate NASA - and also pay the NAS SSB for their $3.6 million studies?
Here is the most bizzare part - this wordy and self-cancelling disclaimer on the stealth NAS SSB page:
"The Committee on Human Spaceflight will be accepting input via Twitter from 12:01 a.m. EDT Tuesday, Oct. 29, to 3 a.m. EDT Wednesday, Oct. 30. Tweets with the hashtag #HumansInSpace that are received after that time may not be accepted as input to the committee. This request for input is open to any and all interested individuals wishing to submit their own ideas on the future of human spaceflight. Because participants are self-selected, these inputs will not be used to judge the prevalence of attitudes or opinions within various communities. However, the input is intended to help ensure that the committee hears about important issues from interested parties."
Huh? My take: "Send us your tweets but since you (not us) are making the decision to comment (and since we have no idea who you are) your comments won't really mean anything - but we want to look like we asked for 140 character tweets and listened to actual people - maybe - unless you did not hear about this until after the fact."
"Attendees in the audience at the event were unaware that this event was being webcast or available on telephone dial-in. Indeed, I asked the SSB ahead of time and they said it would not be webcast or audiocast so I came into town only to learn that I could have listened from my office. Thanks guys."
"Net result: the committee's advice will be out of synch with reality and somewhat overtaken by events having taken a total of 3 years, 7 months to complete. Oh yes: the cost of this study? $3.6 million.. The soonest that a NASA budget could be crafted that took this committee's advice into account would be the FY 2016 budget request. NASA and OMB will interact on the FY 2016 budget during Fall 2014 and it won't be announced until early 2015 - 4 1/2 years after this committee and its advice was requested in the NASA Authorization Act 2010."
Why Does Space Policy Always Suck?, earlier post