Several days after three scientists resigned (or were asked to resign) from the NASA Advisory Council, administrator Michael Griffin fired back at the members, and scientists in general, in a memo, ScienceNOW reported late Tuesday. “The scientific community… expects to have far too large a role in prescribing what work NASA should do,” Griffin told NAC members in a memo obtained by ScienceNOW. “By ‘effectiveness,’ what the scientific community really means is ‘the extent to which we are able to get NASA to do what we want to do’.” And if NAC members disagree with NASA’s approach? “The most appropriate recourse for NAC members who believe the NASA program should be something other than what it is, is to resign.”
Harsh language, and language that is unlikely to win much support from the scientific community, although former NAC members like Wes Huntress were firing back. Saying that the advice that he and fellow former members Charles Kennel and Eugene Levy was “simply not required nor desired,” Huntress added that the current council “has no understanding or patience for the science community process.” One suspects that we have not heard the last in this clash between NASA leadership and scientists.