Culture: February 2009 Archives

NASA's Chief Climate Scientist Stirs Controversy With Call for Civil Disobedience, Fox

"NASA's chief climate scientist is in hot water with colleagues and at least one lawmaker after calling on citizens to engage in civil disobedience at what is being billed as the largest public protest of global warming ever in the United States. In a video on, Dr. James Hansen is seen urging Americans to "take a stand on global warming" during the March 2 protest at the Capitol Power Plant in Southeast Washington, D.C. ... ... "Jim Hansen is performing a tremendous job at communicating our science to the public and, more importantly, to policymakers and decision-makers," Franco Einaudi, director of the Earth Sciences Division at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, said in a press release."

Top NASA Climate Scientist Favors Capitol Climate Action, PlanetSave

"But NASA is defending Hansen's right as a private citizen to engage in the campaign. "He's doing this as a private citizen on his own time and there's nothing wrong with that," said NASA spokesman Mark Hess. "There's nothing partisan here. You don't give up your rights to free speech by becoming a government employee."

Editor's note: I guess this is about as clear a signal as any NASA employee can expect to get that they can now speak out publicly - with attribution - about any topic they wish - including overtly work-related topics - without any fear of reprimand, sanction, or criticism from their management, right? Very important - if it is true, that is.

Why not push the envelope and see what happens? If your boss comes after you, just cite the Hansen precedent.

Wayne Hale's Blog The Power of Accepting Criticism

"Next week I am on the agenda of the NASA Project Management Challenge training event to give a talk on "The Power of Accepting Criticism". This was a talk that I planned to give last year, but a conflict caused me to back out at the last minute. So up until last evening, I was feeling pretty good about having the speech ready, it was written a year ago, with only minor updates to polish it up. Now I think I'm going to tear that speech up and write a new one. Same topic, new info. All because of an email exchange I had last evening. Here is what I got - not as a comment to my blog, but as a direct email -- as I was waiting for my plane to take me home:"

Annoying Stickler Insists On Every Detail Of Space Mission Being Exactly Right, The Onion

"Moments after having their shuttle launch delayed, Discovery astronauts complained once again Monday about John Shannon--that annoying little program manager who insists on every detail of every space mission being exactly right. Shannon, who is reportedly always double-checking launch parameters for no good reason, and sticking his nose into parts of the spacecraft that have always worked just fine, delayed the NASA flight for the third time this past month. ... The insufferable perfectionist's fixation goes beyond ship maintenance and safety, however. In the past six months, Shannon has totally smothered Discovery astronauts, forcing them to complete endless navigation simulations, practice sea survival techniques despite the lack of water in space, and train for all kinds of hypothetical emergency evacuations, the vast majority of which will never even happen."



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This page is an archive of entries in the Culture category from February 2009.

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