NASA's Chief Scientist Departs Space Agency

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NASA's chief scientist Ellen Stofan announced that she has left the space agency. The reason? She says she is leaving NASA for "new adventures."

Ellen Stofan left NASA this month after serving as chief scientist since August 2013. Agency spokesman Dwayne Brown was not immediately able to provide an exact departure date, or plans to select a new chief scientist. Stofan's departure was noted by NASA publicly only in an interview the agency posted on its Tumblr social media account Dec. 21. In the interview, NASA said Stofan was "departing for new adventures," but was not more specific.
 

Gigantopithecus

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"one of the achievements she was most proud of as chief scientist was getting the agency to voluntarily request demographic information in grant proposals submitted by scientists"

She's proud of introducing bias into a blind process.
If you think grant proposal review is a blind process, then you must not be an actual scientist.
 

Dead Parrot

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Phrases similar to "departing for new adventures," are often used in the private sector when someone is forced out but the company doesn't want to say why. The fact that NASA doesn't have an announced replacement yet is also consistent with an less then amicable parting. Wild ass speculation is that if the thing she is most proud of during a 3 year run at a Space and Aeronautical Research agency is adding some voluntary profiling data collection to grant applications is her bosses decided that they needed someone slightly more interested in Space and Aeronautical research.
 
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Deleted member 93354

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Given as NASA's mission lately has been to push the climate change agenda (I'm not going to get into if it's real or not), and the incoming administration, it's no wonder she left. The writing is on the wall.
 

Chunder

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It is also not uncommon for people to leave before a new administration comes into office. The writing is on the wall already for NASA, NOAA, USGS, etc....
Especially when the incoming administration is full of inexperienced, anti-science corporate shrills. Where some believe proven science is either a conspiracy from China, or that only God can affect change. Then there's those whose Russian ties and complete willful ignorance/selfish greed (Rex Tillerson) to the issue can net him over $500 billion within the next decade. Then there's always that witchhunt that was started looking for specific scientist who's truth spreading of cold hard proven facts is affecting the public's image and demands that is hurting their corporate donors interest....
 

EngrChris

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NASA does much more than space, but sadly the public does not know. They provide support services for agencies such as the FAA, NOAA, USGS, and etc. The civil servants who perform climate and atmospheric research are panicking with the new administration. Hopefully the witch hunt does not extend into the NWS.
 

alxnet7227

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This is one of these common sense (don't believe the snake-oil salesmen) moments:

First it was global cooling in the 70s. Then it was global warming in the 80s and 90s. When neither term fit the narrative, they collectively changed the term to an amorphous, ambiguous term: climate change. Just that alone should make anyone skeptical.

Not saying you should be a 100% non-believer, but c'mon, that's just a tiny bit shady.

If a religious cult proclaims the earth will end in a hundred years, everyone laughs. When global warming activists say the same damn thing, crickets.
 

Jamison Collins

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alxnet7227,

Just out of curiousity, how familiar are you with the way science studied / carried out at an academic level and magnitude of claim that a hypothesis with near universal acceptance reflects anything other than our best understanding of the world?

For disclosure, I only work in computer science but I have published papers before in top conferences and journals. I don't see how ideas, even in that less rigorous field, achieve widespread acceptance without having been intensely scrutinized and challenged.
 

alxnet7227

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alxnet7227,

Just out of curiousity, how familiar are you with the way science studied / carried out at an academic level and magnitude of claim that a hypothesis with near universal acceptance reflects anything other than our best understanding of the world?

For disclosure, I only work in computer science but I have published papers before in top conferences and journals. I don't see how ideas, even in that less rigorous field, achieve widespread acceptance without having been intensely scrutinized and challenged.
Doesn't it concern you in the least that this so called scientific consensus has morphed from global cooling to global warming to just simply (hands up I give up) climate change? That alone should trigger just a little uncertainty in this so called settled science. In your published papers, is it a regular occurrence to modify and manipulate raw measured data? This entire field has taken a largely political angle and no longer follows rigorous scientific method. Carbon credits? Former politicians earning insane incomes from trading carbon credits creating a $60 billion dollar market?

http://www.forbes.com/sites/jamesta...-rock-the-global-warming-debate/#4f269467988d

http://realclimatescience.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/Screen-Shot-2016-12-28-at-5.45.44-AM-1.gif
 

Jamison Collins

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alxnet7227,

I'm not attempting to argue by wikipedia, but if you look at the summary of global cooling here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_cooling it mentions "This hypothesis had little support in the scientific community." If that is true then global cooling and global warming are not comparable since global cooling never achieved the widespread level of acceptance that global warming did nor would it have ever been viewed as "settled science." I don't believe we should expect to find dramatic swings in the consensus view of a scientific community absent dramatic new evidence coming to light. Are you suggesting that this has happened with respect to climate change?

In my papers we would not fabricate data of course. We would "manipulate it" if there were a valid reason for doing so and provide an explanation so the reader could judge for themselves whether what we did was kosher. For example, in this paper https://www.researchgate.net/publication/221005385_Dynamic_speculative_precomputation we targeted only a small number of programs to evaluate the performance of our proposed feature. But we were open about why we did so and it's up to the reader to decide whether what we are proposing represents a useful contribution or not given that limitation. There are other ways you might "manipulate" data as well which are acceptable and justified.

Why do you say "This entire field has taken a largely political angle and no longer follows rigorous scientific method"? I took a quick look at the first link you posted but I'm not sure what I'm supposed to take from it. Without at least the entire email to read as context I can't take a single contextless sentence and judge what is actually being written. If you can find the full emails which are being quoted in that article then that would at least be a start.
 

ob1

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You just need to block him. I did that after the first link he used was realclimatescience.com which is run by an economist and has no real actual science involved, or science equipment. The guy is either trolling or worse. If he had used reputable links like climate.nasa.gov, epa.gov, nwf.org, noaa.gov, etc. But they always choose links that are close to onion in terms of reliable information like skepticalscience.com and shit like that.

Let the denier get some equipment, get some of the data even, and show us all how things are broken. Don't take it from a website that is run by satirists, do the math yourself. Take a trip to one of these places, like greenland or the north slope of Alaska....
 
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