Statement on Scientific Openness
I want to make sure that NASA employees hear directly from me on how I view
the issue of scientific openness and the role of public affairs within the
Image left: Administrator Michael Griffin. Photo credit: NASA/Renee Bouchard.
First, NASA has always been, is, and will continue to be committed
to open scientific and technical inquiry and dialogue with the public. The
basis for this principle is codified in the Space Act of 1958, which
requires NASA to "provide for the widest practicable and appropriate
dissemination of information concerning its activities and the results
Second, the job of the Office of Public Affairs, at every level in NASA, is
to convey the work done at NASA to our stakeholders in an intelligible way.
It is not the job of public affairs officers to alter, filter or adjust
engineering or scientific material produced by NASA's technical staff. To
ensure timely release of information, there must be cooperation and
coordination between our scientific and engineering community and our public
Third, we have identified a number of areas in which clarification and
improvements to the standard operating procedures of the Office of Public
Affairs can and will be made. The revised policy, when complete, will be
disseminated throughout the agency.
I want to encourage employees to discuss this issue and bring their concerns
to management so we can work together to ensure that NASA's policies and
procedures appropriately support our commitment to openness.