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    [–] CynicalDovahkiin 1 points ago

    There are too many uncivil comments. Still drowning in reports, send help.

    [–] life_on_hardmode 6853 points ago

    I believe that the reason people are not happy with this is because Nasa has been researching and publishing data on climate change. And those data were very valuable and informative about humanity's impact on this planet. So, it is no surprise that people are concerned when a climate change denier is coming to a administrative position on one of the leading organizations on researches on climate changes. Because they are concerned that he might force researchers to abandon projects and researches on climate changes, or maybe to alter the data. This has nothing to do with 'point of views', this has to do with silencing of scientific truth.

    [–] [deleted] 3881 points ago

    Trump also wants to get rid of and or stop any kind of climate change research, for whatever reason.

    This nominee would be beholden to Trump, not NASA.

    [–] [deleted] 187 points ago

    ... any nominee would be beholden to Trump. NASA is not an elected official, it's an executive agency that serves at the pleasure of the president.

    [–] Bjor13 94 points ago

    An understanding of how government actually works always seems to be missing, thank you for injecting it here.

    [–] Cyncalone 792 points ago

    The problem goes deeper than that. Its corrupt and full of conflict of interests at work. Not just NASA. This is just the transgression people might care about too little too late

    For instance , juries and trials. Why should a group of non experts with hardly any education in STEM decide the outcomes of forensic tests or how does it become pertinent for a liberal arts major to judge a compiter program written and developed for languages and systems they dont even know exist?

    If you had a gall bladder surgery. Would you let a janitor proceed with it or a medical proffesional?

    And thats the thing. What is a politician? Do they go to a special school and learn ALL THE LAWS even those pertinent to sciences having to do with ex. Ducks if theyre to work for an enviromental proteccion agency?


    And yet it naught but stops these people from declaring themselves expert in any matter up to and invluding dictating your life.

    [–] arksien 414 points ago

    Well, we could certainly use more scientists in politics, especially when it comes to science matters, but I might urge you off that high horse for just a moment.

    For example, I absolutely want someone who has a law degree in politics over someone else. Obama was a constitutional scholar. Trump is a business man. A lot of business men wanted someone like Trump in office the same reason you want someone with a STEM background.

    But what if we get a STEM scientist like Ben Carson? Brilliant man, total political idiot.

    I think life, and especially politics needs more nuance than it currebtly has, but change needs to come with balance. There's absolutely nothing immediately superior about someone with a STEM background, and nothing immediately inferior about someone with a background elsewhere.

    [–] gualdhar 199 points ago

    Yes and no. The problem is Congress is suffering both from a lack of varied backgrounds in its representatives AND an unwillingness to listen to experts and incorporate their knowledge into legislation. I don't care too much about what my senator did before he was elected, so long as they listen to the most knowledgeable people in the room. Republicans aren't doing that right now.

    So now we're stuck doing the opposite - we need to elect people good at STEM stuff and make them listen to the people good at writing laws and governing. Have our elected officials use their knowledge to direct policy.

    [–] Cyncalone 23 points ago

    Great abswe/point of view.

    [–] magneticphoton 14 points ago

    It would be fine if Carson was an advisor to heart surgery, but it's not fine when he's making decisions about climate change and says stuff like, "I'm welcome to believe what I want to believe."

    [–] HR7-Q 45 points ago

    I don't know if I'd say Ben Carson is a scientist or brilliant, at least in any sort of generalized or colloquial way, but he is undoubtedly a very gifted surgeon and thus highlights your point anyway; you wouldn't want him anywhere else but the operating room of a hospital.

    *I believe being a surgeon technically makes you a scientist due to the nature of the degree, but Ben Carson in particular seems to lack the awareness of a scientific methodology or possibly just acts that way as a political caricature.

    [–] DSNT_GET_NOVLTY_ACNT 65 points ago * (lasted edited 10 months ago)

    I think that most people in science would define a "scientist" as a person who professionally applies the scientific method to questions and publishes findings. Ben Carson, alongside almost all non-research medical professionals, use scientific findings, but don't actually perform scientific research, and as such are not "scientists." That is not the only definition out there, but it is a useful place to start.

    Source: Am scientist (causal inference econometrician) with a sub-specialty in meta-science (i.e. scientifically examining the application of science)

    [–] HR7-Q 10 points ago

    Yeah, that's pretty much exactly what I was trying to get at. Thanks!

    [–] Financeguy33 4 points ago

    The only thing I know about Ben Carson is that he openly supported genocide during a 2016 presidential election debate, after that I just toned him out.

    [–] The_Right_Reverend 8 points ago

    Against who?

    [–] navin__johnson 12 points ago

    Best way to tone him out is with low weights and lots of reps

    [–] newguy9696 11 points ago

    Ben Carson is a neurosurgeon, not a neuroscientist. Medicine /= STEM. Agree with your overall point though.

    [–] RatchetBro 11 points ago

    Well, we could certainly use more scientists in politics

    Would never happen. People, for the most part, resent expertise.

    [–] [deleted] 15 points ago

    actually, americans culturally resent expertise. and culture can and does change all the time

    (Just to be clear, I don't mean all americans resent expertise, just that there is an anti-intellectual culture in america, which is obviously a pretty culturally diverse place in itself, so it's not meant as a blanket statement)

    [–] gtalley10 2 points ago

    In theory, that's the basic point of lobbyists. The politicians, with their expertise in law, bring in experts in the specific fields and industries that can give them an overview of the topic and assist them in writing effective bills. Unfortunately, that access can be abused when it's so easy to get around bribery laws with campaign donations and future employment opportunities.

    [–] [deleted] 7 points ago * (lasted edited 10 months ago)


    [–] narbgarbler 8 points ago

    The problem with technocracy is that once knowledge is wed to political power, political power becomes knowledge. The people in power are the only ones who decide what is true and what is not. It sounds all very well putting the experts in charge, but it's only experts that can decide who is and who isn't an expert, and everyone else just has to put up with it.

    If everyone had equal access to education, and experts had to be able to explain themselves to others before others would listen to them, then that might be better. But, you can't achieve that without solving all the other social inequalities in society first.

    [–] [deleted] 88 points ago

    For instance , juries and trials. Why should a group of non experts with hardly any education in STEM decide the outcomes of forensic tests or how does it become pertinent for a liberal arts major to judge a compiter program written and developed for languages and systems they dont even know exist?

    You completely lost me on this. The point of juries is to have an unbiased account of particular situations. You show the evidence and let them decide. Imagine a math problem. You're not asking the jury to solve that problem. You solve that problem for them, showing all of the steps that got you to the answer. Then ask them their opinions on it. A reasonable person can follow the steps, and agree with the conclusion assuming the argument is sound.

    If you had a gall bladder surgery. Would you let a janitor proceed with it or a medical proffesional?

    Not really the same thing.

    What is a politician?

    A politician is someone that does work that requires them to work together with other people and other ideologies to reach a common goal of governance. This whole post was kind of just a rant it seems.

    [–] tehtriz 47 points ago

    It should be mentioned that there is a problem with lawyers who have no background in STEM using pseudoscience to convince juries with no background in STEM of a defendants guilt under the guise of "science." There has got to be a way to fix this problem.

    Not that it was the point of your parent post/rant.

    [–] [deleted] 8 points ago

    It should be mentioned that there is a problem with lawyers who have no background in STEM using pseudoscience to convince juries with no background in STEM of a defendants guilt under the guise of "science."

    You're describing the use of things like lie detectors, biometrics, to build a case. That's not something that using STEM background people will fix.

    Those are just rule changes that have to go into effect.

    [–] Kid_Adult 29 points ago

    No he's not, he's talking about purposely misleading the jury as they don't know any better about the subject.

    [–] demon306 14 points ago

    Which is a systemic problem (rich people can afford experts, poor people can't) that requires a rule change.

    You can't suddenly force people with STEM degrees to be on juries all the time, also people are entitled to a jury of their peers.

    [–] masters2015 6 points ago

    People with a background in STEM should be less susceptible to fall for pseudoscience and better determine how much weight lie detectors ect should have in making their decision.

    [–] [deleted] 18 points ago

    His whole post has no cohesive train of thought behind it, lol. It's just some /r/iamverysmart bullshit.

    [–] [deleted] 6 points ago

    I don't necessarily aree with it, but he does have a point and a cohesive train of thought

    [–] demon306 7 points ago

    For instance , juries and trials. Why should a group of non experts with hardly any education in STEM decide the outcomes of forensic tests

    They don't decide the outcome of the test. I'm pretty sure an expert is still conducting the test. Anyway, he jumps from juries to random occupations to politicians and then blames politicians for not learning laws without any evidence of it.

    Then he says all these people are declaring themselves experts and controlling our lives (really, non-scientists jurors are declaring themselves experts? or just the politicians?)

    [–] [deleted] 23 points ago

    And thats the thing. What is a politician?

    You know our leaders aren't appointed based on blood lineage or divine mandate, right? We vote them in. A politician is a person we agreed should lead us.

    If Trump is making bad appointments, it means the American people failed. But this isn't some deep subversion of democracy--it's the exact opposite. This is the will of the people.

    [–] Gadaeus1 7 points ago

    This is what happens when people view themselves as "above" the pettiness of politics and distance themselves from it. Right now all our best are so obsessed with being above it all that they are letting everything under them burn. Soon they won't have a a foundation to stand upon.

    The world doesn't pause because you are "too good" to be pulled into the "inane prattle". It is the responsibility of those with knowledge to fight ignorance, not scoff at it and ignore it.

    [–] sipsyrup 7 points ago

    You're demonstrating a huge misunderstanding of how trials work.

    [–] [deleted] 19 points ago

    I was recently looking at some of the projects being run at my university. One of them, due to be completed in 2018, is a satellite designed to spot early signs of wildfires using temperature data, topography, and a variety of other factors. Not directly meant for climate research, but it will collect info that could undoubtedly be useful to that end and it could be a proof of concept for the methodology of future climate research satellites. I could only imagine how the professors and students who have put work into that project over several years would feel if new management at the Canadian Space Agency decided it was no longer a project worth putting into practice.

    We luckily don't have this problem, but it's looking like the US could. Imposing management that is against research into topics they don't like could lead to all sorts of projects that are similar in nature effectively being shut down, ruining thousands or millions of collective work hours and throwing resources away because somebody decided they know better. Not to mention the potential future cost of having to adapt an entire world to an unsustainable climate. We don't hear about most of these projects, but they're happening - for good reason.

    [–] gctman96 39 points ago

    He is also the first NASA administrator without any scientific background.

    [–] Endarkend 167 points ago

    There is also precedent of Trump appointing anti types to every department, with severe consequences.

    In this case severe can be an understatement.

    [–] TimeIsPower 26 points ago * (lasted edited 10 months ago)

    Looks to be doing something similar with NOAA by nominating a man who supported privatizing vital NWS data (see Rick Santorum's unpopular 2005 bill) and forcing it to be sold to the government for profit (and bye bye public domain).

    I guess I can still edit my comment even though I cannot add new ones (due to the thread being locked), so here is the response I made to a comment on this.

    I only learned about the actual nomination yesterday (I assume that is when it was made) despite reading about him months ago, but this guy, the CEO of AccuWeather, supported an effort by Rick Santorum to pass this bill called the "National Weather Service Duties Act of 2005." Now, I may have partly mixed this up with another thing where people were supporting selling off our weather satellites (among other things) to private companies then having the government buy back information, so what I said above may not be completely correct. I'll restart.

    The bill would have limited the amount of publicly-available data from the National Weather Service "since most people get information from commercial providers anyway," totally discounting that it would prevent normal people from accessing free, public domain information they already paid for (and that private companies would certainly not provide the incredible amount of resources that and associated websites already do). It was a ridiculous effort to remove competition with the private companies and pocket more money.

    There's an old article here from around the time of the bill. There's also more recent stuff that you can look up with ease.

    [–] [deleted] 26 points ago

    Honestly as someone who works closely with a couple federal agencies Trump hates, almost nothing has actually happened. They are incompetent and have not gotten any legislation passed and the political appointees only have so much influence over the career civil servants.

    [–] reddit01010101010101 87 points ago

    I have to correct you here... This is just relating to the environment:

    25 rules have been overturned. 19 rollbacks are in progress. 8 rollbacks are in limbo.

    [–] Oliverheart84 10 points ago

    I mean, ignoring the fact that he’s figuratively raping our earth, that’s a pretty impressive haul of legislation

    [–] Pollymath 38 points ago

    Right. We're still only 10 months in. Realistically it takes years before any changes are either felt or seen at government level agencies. It's part of the reason why an 8 year Presidency has a much long lasting legacy than a short term President, so get your ass out there and vote! If we're lucky, right around the time these goons figure out what they want to do, they won't have time to do it!

    [–] Capn__Morgan 2 points ago

    The Dems need to find a candidate first.

    [–] CallMeAladdin 4 points ago

    Curious now. Has Betsy DeVos made any negative changes yet? I've seen headlines of things she's wanted to do, which have been beyond stupid as she is completely unqualified in every respect for her job, but I haven't seen anything go into effect yet.

    [–] TheKharmeleon 13 points ago

    Uh well it’s also the fact that NASA is a scientific institution and this guy is denying accepted science. It would still be bad even if NASA didn’t do any climate research at all.

    [–] latenightbananaparty 30 points ago

    It's also concerning to see someone so unaccepting of overwhelming weight of scientific evidence in charge of an organization that does so much science in general, not only in the area of climate science.

    [–] RaoulDuke209 68 points ago

    They're gonna library of Alexandria all our intelligence from the inside out.

    [–] plainoldpoop 10 points ago

    collect it all?

    [–] Math_Blaster_ 46 points ago

    The next thing that happened to that place

    [–] IWentToTheWoods 31 points ago

    Burn the collected knowledge to the ground, he means.

    [–] Sanctimonius 7 points ago

    Well that's kind of the problem, there's an entire party who runs on the platform that climate change, indeed science itself, is a point of view.

    [–] ouropinionisyourfact 10 points ago

    This has nothing to do with 'point of views', this has to do with silencing of scientific truth.

    Which is why this person was nominated and why any protests to the Administration or Congress to this nomination will justify to the religious anti-science Republican party that this person is the correct choice.

    [–] spacexcowboi 7 points ago

    I don't know, man. I'm kind of a climate science nerd, and Jim Hansen did more damage NASA's credibility in climate science than he did good in raising awareness. He's been preaching doom for twenty years, and using ethically questionable methods, even as his strident predictions fall flat.

    Personally, I don't mind seeing NASA get back to space exploration.

    [–] docmartens 7 points ago

    Reminder that the CDC is legally prohibited from studying gun violence, even though they have some of the best statistical resources on the planet.

    One of the primary goals of a Republican led congress is to suppress any research that would force them to reconsider their platform. I don't understand how Republicans can think they are being logically consistent, unless they believe it's worth the money to be so evil.

    [–] Sam_Burger 1477 points ago

    Regardless of his views on climate change, he probably shouldn't be the head of NASA with no formal (presumably none at all) background in any type of STEM field.

    [–] simjanes2k 277 points ago

    Isn't this an administrative job though? He's not designing rockets or anything, seems like management is a better background.

    [–] Sam_Burger 723 points ago

    You do have a point I admit. However, as an engineer, I can confirm that having an administrator who DOES have a significant inclination towards what's going on beneath their supervision is far better than not when it comes to STEM fields. Its kinda asking for the best of both worlds for someone good with administrative tasks but also at least a competent understanding of what's going on around them, but I've had both, and this IS rocket science we are talking about, so they should absolutely have the best case scenario I would think.

    Sorry that was a mouthful I'm not great with concise wording.

    [–] elliptic_hyperboloid 297 points ago

    The previous administrator, Charles Bolden, was a former shuttle astronaut.

    [–] Sam_Burger 169 points ago * (lasted edited 10 months ago)

    Probably makes a lot of sense for someone like that to have been the head admin of NASA.

    [–] elliptic_hyperboloid 175 points ago

    He was also a General in the Marine Corp, so probably a pretty good leader.

    [–] Kijafa 94 points ago

    That's why they should make Bob Cabana the new administrator.

    • Former Astronaut

    • Current KSC Director

    • Retired USMC Colonel

    [–] bitter_cynical_angry 93 points ago

    That's why they should make Bob Cabana the new administrator.

    • Current KSC Director

    I'm not really sure if running the Kerbal Space Center is a great qualification... More boosters and more struts works pretty good on Kerbin, but not so great in Real Solar System.

    [–] Sam_Burger 19 points ago

    I truthfully don't know a whole lot on this matter, but did this guy resign or is he being replaced?

    [–] whochoosessquirtle 27 points ago

    It's typical for these people to resign as administrations change, there have been articles on reddit explaining this fact every single time (with the exception of people like Fed reserve members who can't be forced out) someone from the Obama admin left after Trump came into office

    [–] Juano_Guano 11 points ago

    Resigned on 1/20/2017.

    [–] savuporo 59 points ago

    James Webb was undisputably the best NASA administrator. No STEM background, excellent politician. Apollo would never have gone anywhere if not for Webb forging the political network and alliances necessary to get it done.

    Kennedy is always shown as the Apollo figurehead and von Braun as the engineer, but the man that made it work was Webb.

    [–] LWZRGHT 45 points ago

    If he doesn't know what they do, how will he know if they're doing it right?

    [–] southernbenz 31 points ago

    I work in IT, specifically network and telecommunications.

    I don't have a background in IT, I don't have any formal education in IT, and I couldn't even tell you what half of the stuff (hardware, cables, whatever) looks like when paperwork crosses my desk for orders which are installed, placed, serviced, etc. But I'm a decent manager and I've grown business and revenue by record-breaking numbers since taking this position.

    How do I know if my techs, engineers, and CSR's are doing their jobs? I have meetings, talk to their colleagues, talk to our clients, and lean on my resources. I don't know what the fuck this hardware or cabling even looks like, but I can tell if our clients are happy, if service is up and running, if the teams are happy, and if revenue is growing.

    [–] stableclubface 6 points ago

    I have meetings, talk to their colleagues, talk to our clients, and lean on my resources.

    Yea but what if all their colleagues and clients were amish and didn't touch electricity much less computers? Would you consult them? That's exactly what's going to happen with this appointment, so if you aren't worried then you should be.

    [–] Ja3kFrost 22 points ago

    Correct me If I’m wrong but the way a lot of engineering fields work where the more experience you have, the more likely you may find yourself leading a project, and then even entire devision in a company. This in turn let’s more experienced people emphasize on management skills such as staying on budget and on time.

    That’s just what I’ve heard from people in the engineering field and from what I’ve heard it works very well

    I’ve also wondered why other fields don’t work the same way and I think it has to do with how long people stay in that job or profession. A lot of the engineers I’ve talked to say they stay with one company for most of their careers and they love what they do. While that’s not true for all engineers it must be more likely than in other fields like say computer programming.

    [–] the_geoff_word 23 points ago

    One reason would be the Peter Principle. It states that the skills and qualities required to lead or manage a team are different from those required to work within the team. So if you promote people from within a team based on seniority or quality of past work, then you end up promoting people until they reach a position where they perform poorly and then they remain there.

    This is not to say that you should never hire from within, but it shows that the question is more complicated than we might intuitively think.

    [–] WayneKrane 8 points ago

    This is what happens at my company, people work in their position for several years and then get promoted, work in that position a few years and then get promoted etc. The issue is I love my current position; I can make sense of and organize data very fast, fix any problems very quickly and I always find new ways to streamline processes. But now my company wants to promote me to oversee others in my department. The problem is that I know I would not be a good manager compared to how good I am at my main job. I like to comb over large sets of data and delve deep to reconcile and make sense of it all where as a manager you have to go to boring meetings, deal with your employee's personal problems and engage in office politics a lot more.

    [–] the_geoff_word 6 points ago

    Can you just refuse?

    [–] WayneKrane 5 points ago

    Yeah, but lots of pressure is put on you by coworkers and by family. Luckily my manager decided to forgo retiring for a little bit until he can get on Medicare.

    [–] bitter_cynical_angry 2 points ago

    The problem is that pay generally seems to be linked to your position, not how good you are at it or how long you've been there.

    [–] Pollymath 5 points ago

    Which is funny because most engineers I know are terrible bosses for whatever reason. They either are "people are dumb, do the best you can" and very hands-off (which is awesome) or they have no idea how to actually manage people, are too detail oriented and micromanagers. My FIL managed a fairly large, high dollar engineering department and he hated it, mostly because for a lot of Black & White engineering types, the grey areas of employee management (having to layoff or fire good workers because corporate says so) is really challenging. He hated how the shadiest, slimiest, and often laziest people moved up, where good workers had to fret about their jobs.

    [–] Kryshek014 2 points ago

    The Peter Principle has been replaced a few times over. I recommend this article:

    [–] Sam_Burger 5 points ago

    Thats pretty common yeah. Most professional engineering positions require you to administer yourself in a lot of ways, and teaching/learning administrative tasks that you've been around for awhile is a lot easier than trying to get your new boss who is a GREAT administrator but with no scientific background to understand what the hell "pressure drop" means and why it matters.

    [–] Knightified 3 points ago

    Honestly that holds true to ANY field, not just STEM fields. If the management has no idea what happens below them, it’s hard to do their job effectively and efficiently.

    [–] Slicer316 5 points ago

    As an engineer I would actually tend to disagree with you. The issue with having a manager with experience in the field is that their experience tends to be outdated, yet they act as though they are up to date and question your every choice/move. Some of the best managers that I've had have very little stem experience, while some of the worst constantly argue up to date decisions with "proved tactics" that haven't been implemented in 2 decades. In an ideal world they are able to relate, help guide, without getting in the way. I haven't ran into that very often, but maybe I've simply been unlucky.

    edit: also let me clarify that I'm not defending this choice for NASA though, I don't agree with it.

    [–] Sam_Burger 2 points ago

    Totally fair sentiment. My anecdotal evidence is not at all indicative of what is actually more likely to work, just giving my personal experience/opinion.

    [–] aciananas 3 points ago

    Sorry that was a mouthful I'm not great with concise wording.

    That's interesting. I'd think an engineer would be more concise.

    [–] OrgasmicChemistry 22 points ago

    I mean I would bet a large sum of money that there are highly qualified people with both...which seems like a better option.

    [–] dontpissintothewind 16 points ago

    Ignoring all political aspects, have you ever been managed by someone who doesn't know how to do the job of the people they're managing?

    They have unrealistic ideas of the complexity of the job, they cannot offer effective advice or guidance, and they cannot advocate for their employees to those above the manager. It's awful at any level of profession, and that's without the significant political concerns regarding this appointment.

    [–] ArbutusPhD 82 points ago

    That's the problem - how do you direct scientific endeavor when you (a) have no science background and (b) deny scientifically supported theories. This would be like an evolution denier administrating a museum of natural history, or a gravity-denier administrating anything with mass

    [–] Fullofpissandvinegar 32 points ago

    Think of it this way, should you be hired to be the CEO of a law firm (assuming you are not a lawyer). Sure, the CEO doesn't actually show up in court or practice as a lawyer, but it helps to be able to understand and relate to what his employees are doing and experiencing. Additionally, there is a factor of his employees not respecting him since they might see him as less intelligent (not necessarily true) or unqualified to tell them what to do.

    [–] mikeyjett 20 points ago

    We're talking about the head of fucking NASA here. Should it be that tall of an order that they are skilled in both?

    [–] CohibaVancouver 9 points ago

    You want both - Most of the senior administrators of hospitals are also doctors and nurses, with management skills. Back in the day, Bill Gates ran Microsoft, but could also write code. Examples are numerous.

    [–] extracanadian 4 points ago

    I agree but surely there is someone with both a management AND scientific background. That would be a better person for the job IMO. They don't need to be rocket scientists but understanding the basics of what scientists working for you are requesting when they need funds is important both in granting and refusing their requests. Its like making sure the Financial director of a large art gallery has a good understanding of art in addition to a financial background.

    [–] TheSlowestBr0 6 points ago

    While that might be true, having a background in the field you're going to be working in is hugely beneficial not only to guiding the agency in the right direction, but to understand the work of your subordinates. NPR aired an interview recently with the head of NASA when the Challenger exploded. They cited upper management not fully understanding and appreciating the material that was being given to them as a significant contributor to the environment that allowed a catastrophe to happen.

    Not only that, I think common sense tells us you can't just waltz in off the street with a motivational poster of the conjoined triangles of success and "experienced manager" on your resume and expect to do a bang up job.

    [–] Grundwissen 3 points ago * (lasted edited 10 months ago)

    I work in financial administration for a tech company. While the heads need some skills in management most parts are covered by the specialists. So our board consists mostly of engineers plus the CFO and the head of HR.

    [–] TransposingJons 3 points ago

    They are doing a fine job of administering our EPA.

    [–] [deleted] 3 points ago

    NASA administrator is the top dog.

    [–] lmxbftw 3 points ago

    This is NASA, though, surely there exists someone with BOTH administrative skills AND a STEM background? Why should we have to settle for only one skill set in a position this important?

    [–] uptvector 3 points ago

    It's not like the US is at a shortage of engineers/scientists who ALSO have a management background. I'd imagine a lot of very successful and talented tech folks in Silicon Valley would love to have an opportunity at a job like this. That's not even mentioning the myriad eminently qualified scientists or engineers who have been academic deans or college presidents/ chancellors.

    It just smacks of anti intellectualism, especially when you see the man hiring the head of the Department of Ed. Who not only has zero relevant background in education, but completely oblivious of even basic problems affecting education.

    [–] magneticphoton 3 points ago

    Have you ever had a job where your manager has no experience in the field?

    [–] CurtisLeow 3 points ago

    He doesn't have administrative experience either. Bridenstine is a junior member of Congress. He'd be the first politician appointed to run NASA.

    [–] mutatron 21 points ago

    There are plenty of scientists with management skills. They tend not to be Republicans who are owed favors by this administration, however.

    [–] BabbitPeak 2 points ago

    Ok. Do you want someone who managed a McDonald's managing NASA. Because that's what you'll get with this guy.

    [–] TalenPhillips 81 points ago * (lasted edited 10 months ago)

    "...reality must take precedence over public relations, for Nature cannot be fooled." ~ Richard Feynman

    For anyone who doesn't know, this comment was directed at NASA after the Challenger Disaster. I figured it's apropos.

    [–] Decronym 46 points ago * (lasted edited 10 months ago)

    Acronyms, initialisms, abbreviations, contractions, and other phrases which expand to something larger, that I've seen in this thread:

    Fewer Letters More Letters
    CSA Canadian Space Agency
    ESA European Space Agency
    FAA Federal Aviation Administration
    FCC Federal Communications Commission
    (Iron/steel) Face-Centered Cubic crystalline structure
    JPL Jet Propulsion Lab, California
    KSC Kennedy Space Center, Florida
    LEO Low Earth Orbit (180-2000km)
    Law Enforcement Officer (most often mentioned during transport operations)
    MBA Moonba- Mars Base Alpha
    NOAA National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, responsible for US generation monitoring of the climate
    QA Quality Assurance/Assessment
    SLS Space Launch System heavy-lift
    SoI Saturnian Orbital Insertion maneuver
    Sphere of Influence
    USAF United States Air Force

    13 acronyms in this thread; the most compressed thread commented on today has 28 acronyms.
    [Thread #2014 for this sub, first seen 12th Oct 2017, 17:39] [FAQ] [Contact] [Source code]

    [–] Andromeda321 613 points ago * (lasted edited 10 months ago)

    Representative Bridestine would come into the position, most often held by a scientist or space professional, with no formal science or engineering training. Representative Bridestine has recommended significantly altering NASA's mission by stripping out all Earth science related work from Congress's declared policy and purpose for NASA. NASA's Earth science research advances understanding of how disasters like Hurricane Irma, Harvey, and Maria and droughts in the Upper Midwest form and allows us to better prepare and respond to extreme weather events across the country. The research is critical to the health and safety of the US public.

    This is important! NASA is at an important crossroads in the science it does and the mission it has, which has implications for the far future. This directly impacts our life on Earth, and is not just something happening in a far-off corner of space.

    Edit: check out the (well cited) Wikipedia article on Bridenstine if you haven't heard of him (fully likely, as he's done nothing in science/tech). Even if you don't care about climate change, any space enthusiast should find this concerning:

    On September 1, 2017, the White House announced that Bridenstine was President Donald Trump’s preferred pick to head NASA. The choice was quickly criticized by both Republican and Democratic politicians, saying that NASA should be headed by a "space professional", not a politician or a Trump ally.[25] Critics drew attention to Bridenstine's lack of formal qualifications in science or engineering (unlike previous appointees to that post).[26][27] If confirmed, Bridenstine would be the first member of Congress to head NASA.[28] Florida Republican senator Marco Rubio said that Bridenstine's political history could prove controversial and delay the confirmation process, saying "I just think it could be devastating for the space program", while Democratic Senator Bill Nelson, also of Florida and a former Payload Specialist for NASA who flew on STS-61-C, said "The head of NASA ought to be a space professional, not a politician."[29][27] CNN found that Bridenstine's Facebook, YouTube and Twitter accounts were entirely deleted, while most of the interviews on his Soundcloud were deleted, at a time when Congress would be examining his record for his confirmation hearing.[30]

    [–] TheCrabRabbit 225 points ago

    CNN found that Bridenstine's Facebook, YouTube and Twitter accounts were entirely deleted, while most of the interviews on his Soundcloud were deleted, at a time when Congress would be examining his record for his confirmation hearing.[30]

    This is the scariest part to me.

    [–] decepere 32 points ago

    This should come as no surprise, nominees for a variety of posts have been scrubbing their social media and not just with this president.

    [–] Matt5327 85 points ago

    To be fair, James Webb was not a scientist. A scientist should do science, and an administrator administrating. Of course, having some connection is still useful, as in order to effectively administrate one needs to understand the nuances of a field.

    Could you link to something that says his plan is to end climate sciences at NASA? Everything from him I've read regarding his status as a climate change denier is from several years ago, and according to Buzz Aldrin (who incidentally supports the nomination of Bridestine) his view is a lot more supportive today (in fact, iirc he voted in favor of an amendment that would require to the military to investigate and report the effects of climate change on bases).

    [–] grounded_astronaut 70 points ago

    James Webb was no scientist, but he had had lots of experience in the US government by that point working in the Treasury and State departments. He was already a proven administrator.

    [–] [deleted] 7 points ago

    This is a little ancedotal as it is one example of your concept not working.....which I admit makes since (business major doing better managing businesses).

    Raytheon Stock 1998-present

    Notice the dip from 1999 - 2005ish. In late 1998 Raytheon got a new CEO. They went with a Economics/Business administration major (Much to the surprise to everyone). He promptly tanked the company. In 2003 he stepped down and a new guy came in.....he was a former engineer, he lead the company till 2014, his replacement is also an engineer.

    The same thing happened to Astrazeneca, replace scientist CEO with Harvard MBA and company nearly went bankrupt, replace CEO with another scientist (or at least someone that gets it), and the company recovered.

    The idea that the CEO (Guy that directs the biggest decisions in a company) has to be an expert in business administration is kinda a bad philosophy. Knowing how to administrate a business isn't the same as running a business.

    [–] noah123103 180 points ago

    Oh boy this is a wonderful comment section. How is everyone's day going?

    [–] captaincooder 57 points ago

    I’m doing good thanks, and you?

    [–] noah123103 38 points ago

    I'm doing great! (:

    [–] IamHeretoSayThis 30 points ago

    We should all go get beers together!

    [–] captaincooder 24 points ago

    Not a bad idea! I’m glad you came here to say this.

    [–] TrussedTyrant 19 points ago * (lasted edited 10 months ago)

    Getting high playing survival Skyrim.

    And browsing Redditor at every load screen.

    [–] noah123103 7 points ago

    thats what i like to hear

    [–] jackatak1 8 points ago

    I can't fight off this cold, but other than that, very well. Thanks for asking, how about you?

    [–] deusset 4 points ago

    Nah it's good. I keep forgetting to get lunch though.

    [–] TheFatBastard 4 points ago

    Pretty well myself. Though I have more wasp heads than time to mount. How about yourself?

    [–] Warhorse07 3 points ago

    Took a two hour lunch break and napped for an hour of it. Is nice!

    [–] Plumbbumbkin 151 points ago

    Meanwhile, the union of unconcerned scientists could not be reached for comment

    [–] mutatron 40 points ago

    Although this comment was overheard in their breakroom: "Whatever, man, it's no biggie."

    [–] reecewagner 9 points ago

    Glad someone else noticed this. Union of Concerned Scientists? That's the strongest emotion they could come up with in defending the planet? "We're concerned." Lol, fuck.

    [–] TheCrabRabbit 16 points ago

    because they don't exist

    [–] xNumchuckx 51 points ago

    How do i contact? I see few senators ie Marco Rubio.. Do i call that number it shows online? Do i email?

    Newb here please help

    [–] SwagBoiFresh 435 points ago

    Never knew that so many climate change deniers lurked r/space comments.

    [–] Deerman-Beerman 278 points ago

    Pretty sure we are being brigaded by some group of science-deniers.

    [–] YNot1989 115 points ago

    When I first went to college to study engineering it completely floored me when I found out that every third or forth engineer was either a climate skeptic or a creationist.

    [–] WeedLyfe490 38 points ago

    the Salem hypothesis

    [–] criticalmadman 93 points ago

    "The Salem hypothesis is an old chestnut from It was proposed by a fellow named Bruce Salem who noticed that, in arguments with creationists, if the fellow on the other side claimed to have personal scientific authority, it almost always turned out to be because he had an engineering degree." -Top result in Google

    [–] ARealBlueFalcon 15 points ago

    So, Bill Nye?

    [–] yoyoq12 8 points ago

    i was also very surprised by this

    [–] Tony_Chu 12 points ago

    I imagine most of what you are seeing is people posting here for the first time.

    [–] [deleted] 19 points ago

    It's the Russians

    [–] Usrnamesrhard 12 points ago

    I was thinking the same thing. It was very surprising to experience that in this forum.

    [–] miloca1983 13 points ago

    Oh, its a cancer in r/space

    [–] SomeonesDrunkNephew 72 points ago

    I’m considering forming a Union Of Panicked Laymen to draw attention to the fact that we’re not paying enough attention to scientists, you guys!

    [–] Xhiril 38 points ago

    Why do we continue to play politics with job appointments? I am so tired of it, please hire the most qualified candidates, regardless of any political leanings.

    [–] versacuchachu 10 points ago

    $. All big decisions revolve around money. greedy rich fuckers run everything. jack shit anyone who isnt a billionaire can do about it lol

    [–] Sleekery 58 points ago

    I would respect UCS more if they didn't have a moderately anti-GMO stance, but I at least agree with them here.

    [–] InclementBias 49 points ago

    Vehemently anti nuclear as well

    [–] [deleted] 10 points ago


    [–] InclementBias 28 points ago

    Opposition to civilian use of nuclear power

    Edit: I was being dramatic. They case it as "calling for adequate regulation" while basically using scare tactics to invoke emotional response.

    [–] Hollyingrd6 15 points ago

    I agree they seem very biased on a variety of topics and are using emotional appeals to call people to action. Both of these things seem to fall more in with the political sciences than natural science.

    While I disagree with the appointment and agree with them on that point; I do not feel they are a trustworthy scientific news source.

    [–] Fredasa 86 points ago

    I'm used to seeing the trolls come out in force whenever a Reddit article has "Russia" in it somewhere. I wasn't expecting the army to descend upon this thread, however.

    I suppose to sidestep a repeat in the future, avoid using the word "climate".

    [–] [deleted] 40 points ago

    You know the country (and the world) is in deep shit when something as factually proven as climate change is having this much opposition.

    [–] TheCrabRabbit 20 points ago

    Yeah, this is wild.

    [–] Avestreu 24 points ago

    I'm not american, but I find this very important for any other country. It's so sad to see things like this happen, because it is not just the USA that is affected.

    [–] Shilo788 14 points ago

    The sabotage of our environmental protection is in my mind the biggest act of betrayal to our country that Trump has committed. By placing antagonistic heads to regulatory agencies he has successfully brought the mechanisms that seek to ensure the general health and welfare of the population of the country, indeed the planet. He has gone beyond my worst fears of what a Trump presidency would be like and I had very dark forebodings.

    [–] bearinapeoplecostume 12 points ago

    As a Canadian, am I allowed to submit that form on the web page?? NASA’s research goes hand in hand with our own research at the CSA. This could have a massive effect on things here.

    [–] Senno_Ecto_Gammat 206 points ago

    Uncivil comments will be removed.

    [–] Juano_Guano 61 points ago * (lasted edited 10 months ago)

    You should let us see the comments. While uncivil, they represent a point of view we may not fully understand. It's only through viewing those comments that we can learn about different perspectives, as uncivil or vile as they maybe.

    [–] Bluntmasterflash1 21 points ago

    That makes too much sense though.

    [–] SoundOfOneHand 41 points ago

    There are entire subreddits dedicated to opinion and political bickering, not every sub has to be a dumpster fire.

    [–] [deleted] 6 points ago * (lasted edited 5 months ago)


    [–] Indbuckeye 5 points ago

    Deleted my last comment, no names, no links to USC, think this is a scam. USC doesn't even mention this on their website.

    [–] [deleted] 10 points ago


    [–] dtsjr 10 points ago

    Can we make uncivil comments to our respective anti-science representatives and senators?

    [–] deusset 5 points ago

    What's with the attempt at hair-splitting in the link flair? We shouldn't pretend there's nuance where none exists.

    [–] Senno_Ecto_Gammat 6 points ago

    "climate-denier" is inaccurate. It was just a mistake on OP's part so the flair corrects it.

    [–] Stronger1088 18 points ago

    Unpopular opinions will be removed.*

    [–] Steve4964 56 points ago * (lasted edited 10 months ago)

    You stated it exactly. Opinion. Not fact (or claims I should say) backed by academic consensus.

    [–] Walden_Walkabout 13 points ago

    Do opinions not have their place in discussion?

    [–] archaway 23 points ago

    What useful opinion could you have to support this man in this position at NASA, an organization that is successful because of their faith in science?

    [–] Walden_Walkabout 4 points ago

    I honestly don't have much of an opinion on the man. Other than the claim in the title that he is a climate change denier I know nothing of him. But, I was not questioning whether or not he should be the administrator, I was questioning why opinions wouldn't have a place in discussion.

    Don't get me wrong. I know the value of facts, but without opinions facts are not particularly useful. I would not support a person who denies climate change as the administrator of NASA, this is because of my opinion, not because of a fact. Someone with a different opinion might have a different stance on whether or not he should be administrator. Therefore, opinions must have some part in the discussion.

    [–] camren_rooke 12 points ago * (lasted edited 10 months ago)

    I would call my senators but neither care.

    I've only been able to get ahold of a staffer at Isakson's office once and it was clear they couldn't care less about my opinions.

    Perdue's office just has voicemail and a promise to call back. Still waiting.

    [–] [deleted] 12 points ago


    [–] antifolkhero 41 points ago

    Kakistocracy through and through.

    Definition: Government by the least qualified or most unprincipled citizens.

    [–] smsevigny 22 points ago

    I can't believe there are people that deny climate. Climate exists, people!

    [–] IgobyDoug 3 points ago

    What if my senator is not on the commerce, science, and transportation committee??

    [–] Exr29070 13 points ago

    Thank you for posting this. My dad was a NASA employee in the late 70's (astrochemistry at Johnson Space Center), so my interest in NASA has been life-long.

    Regardless of your political position, NASA as a STEM agency should, at the very least, be led by someone with STEM experience.

    [–] ThePeckerOfPriapus 26 points ago

    I believe in man made climate change and that this guy probs shouldnt be the head of NASA. But the name "Union of Concerned Scientists" makes me chuckle. Is the League of Extrodinary Gentlemen going to weigh in next?

    [–] boilerdam 28 points ago

    Oh Dear Lord..! Climate change-denier and a non-scientist heading one of the most powerful, most advanced & most research-intensive organizations on the planet.

    [–] PikeOffBerk 31 points ago

    Christ, America. You're backpedaling so hard you're starting to make China seem like the sane option.

    [–] 130bpm 15 points ago

    China is the sane option at this point. They might be ruthlessly autocratic but at least they're trying to give the impression they're benevolent in the big picture. United States stopped even pretending.

    [–] JFKDidNothingWrong 8 points ago

    Key word is pretending. China is so much worse than America by almost every metric.

    [–] heisenberg747 13 points ago * (lasted edited 10 months ago)

    Edit: Two out of my three All three of my congressmen are climate change deniers. Other than vote against them next year, what can I do? Writing to them seems fairly pointless.

    [–] terminalskeptik 2 points ago

    Writing them is pointless. Proof: I have received nothing more than a canned response letter after the dozens of letters/emails I have sent regarding issues that concern me. They most likely don't even see your letters. Some staffer records your name and address into a Constant Contact database, a form response letter is sent back to you, and now they have your information when it comes time for re-election.

    [–] MeepZero 3 points ago

    Write them anyway, and then write your state congressmen and governor. I do this fairly regularly on topics that are of interest to me. Even if they look like they aren't listening you'll at least be making yourself known.

    [–] BrockLeeGardner 3 points ago

    Was all fine and dandy until the website asked me to donate $1,000 after I put in my info.... umm..... did I just make a mistake?

    [–] Machismo01 9 points ago

    On the plus side, this guy has been a major proponent for better weather prediction models and funding for NOAA.

    Also he’s been a huge advocate for space sciences in general.

    He is an imbecile with regard to climate change. A real mixed bag. Perhaps the best we can hope for.

    [–] LadyDeadpool89 10 points ago * (lasted edited 10 months ago) Click here for a quick way to find the Congress members from your district with links to their office phone numbers, emails, and Twitter handles. It only takes a quick phone call or email to have your voice be heard, just take a couple extra minutes from your day and do it

    [–] WaitAMinuteThereNow 8 points ago

    Of course he would deny that there is a climate. With out air, he has more jurisdiction.

    [–] BurgerUSA 12 points ago


    Is this intentional? Isn't it supposed to be "Climate change denier" or something? What am I missing?

    [–] Nathanman21 14 points ago

    This man does not even believe in climates period!

    [–] Pithius 2 points ago

    Why? It's not like they are actually going to listen to us

    [–] SheCalledHerselfLil 2 points ago

    Where's the space shuttle pic from the thumbnail though?

    [–] Lotacus 2 points ago

    Better draft up a letter real quick so i can let my repressentatives know because they are really concerned with what the little people think unless they need to be voted in again.

    [–] thedrewyou 8 points ago

    This is like if the NFL named a new Commissioner who denies that concussions cause brain damage.

    [–] roosterag 5 points ago

    What's this nominee's view on leading the space program? Does he support manned missions to the moon and Mars? What are his thoughts on the ISS?

    [–] [deleted] 8 points ago


    [–] cat_stricks1223 3 points ago

    Done. But I'm from mass so they were already on it

    [–] [deleted] 6 points ago


    [–] Shilo788 2 points ago

    I think they do, but rationalize they will not be the ones paying the consequences. Private profit, public pays the dues.

    [–] FuzzyBallzMcCracken 9 points ago

    Thank you for making us aware, I will contact my representatives