NASA announces new communications policy

March 31, 2006
A flag stands out at Kennedy Space Center next to the NASA logo

In what is being described as a new "commitment to openness -- NASA's administrator in Washington issued a new communications policy.

Administrator Michael D. Griffin said Thursday the policy details the role of those who release information to the public directly or through the news media, The New York Times reported Friday.

Griffin said the new policy ensures that NASA scientists and engineers can discuss their work in public and state their opinions, however, when they state a personal opinion, the NASA scientist should make clear that it is personal and not agency policy.

Two months ago, James E. Hansen, director of the Goddard Institute for Space Studies, told The Times the Bush administration had tried to keep him from speaking after he gave a lecture in December calling for reductions in emissions of greenhouse gases linked to global warming. Hansen and other agency officials said administration appointees had demanded to review his lectures and publications in advance.

Griffin said political appointees would not unduly influence the new openness policy.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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