- NASA Watch
- March 21, 2023
Earth Science Community Seeks Assurances From Bridenstine
"we unite and write you today to request a commitment to NASA’s role as an earth science agency." @ScienceMarch is circulating a petition that will be sent to recently-appointed NASA head Jim Bridenstine. https://t.co/6tg4XCsMax
— AGU Science Policy (@AGUSciPolicy) May 16, 2018
Say you are Christine McEntee; she’s the AGU Executive Director and CEO of one of America’s finest scientific establishments. From what I can learn she’s a bit of a hell raiser, successfully breathing new life into old organization. Doing a good job and well-regarded.
Ms. McEntee is a Big Dog.
So, if you were in her shoes, why would you start up with NASA?
It’s a risky move with a huge downside.
What’s to be gained with a very public challenge, almost a slap in the face and “what are you going to do about it?”
I suppose she has (at least) two arenas of concern: first, at face value, no doubt the concerns of the AGU with respect to the issues she’s raised are serious. So, there’s that.
And, isn’t there a risk that the move can appear self-aggrandizing? Not for her, personally, but it could be seen as an effort to raise the visibility of a venerable if staid organization.
Certainly Ms. McEntee has easy access to the new Administrator; nobody will refuse to take her call, or refuse her a meeting. So, what is really going on here? Is there some unreported personal animosity? Has AGU pissed off NASA (or vice-versa) in the past?
Was a diplomatic contact event attempted?
I have learned many lessons in a fairly long life. One of these lessons is very simple: Unless perpetual war is your goal, never paint someone else into a corner. Always leave a way out. It’s what the wise Easterners call ‘face’, and, yes, it’s a thing here in the West, too.