Reed A. Cartwright posted Entry 1983 on February 8, 2006 01:40 PM.
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Last week the NY Times reported that a young political appointee, George C. Deutsch, with no science background was interfering with the scientific mission at NASA. Specifically he was trying to ensure that scientists at NASA didn’t release information that conflicted with the policies of the White House. (He was not alone in this.) This was covered on many blogs. (Pharyngula has a list.)

The Big Bang memo came from Mr. Deutsch, a 24-year-old presidential appointee in the press office at NASA headquarters whose résumé says he was an intern in the “war room” of the 2004 Bush-Cheney re-election campaign. A 2003 journalism graduate of Texas A&M, he was also the public-affairs officer who sought more control over Dr. Hansen’s public statements.

In October 2005, Mr. Deutsch sent an e-mail message to Flint Wild, a NASA contractor working on a set of Web presentations about Einstein for middle-school students. The message said the word “theory” needed to be added after every mention of the Big Bang.

The Big Bang is “not proven fact; it is opinion,” Mr. Deutsch wrote, adding, “It is not NASA’s place, nor should it be to make a declaration such as this about the existence of the universe that discounts intelligent design by a creator.”

It continued: “This is more than a science issue, it is a religious issue. And I would hate to think that young people would only be getting one-half of this debate from NASA. That would mean we had failed to properly educate the very people who rely on us for factual information the most.”

Today the NY Times is reporting that Deutsch has resigned from his political position at NASA because Nick Anthis at Scientific Activist discovered that Deutsch was a college drop out, lying on his resume.

Through my own investigations I have just discovered that George Deutsch, the Bush political appointee at the heart of administration efforts to censor NASA scientists (most notably to prevent James Hansen from speaking out about global warming), did not actually graduate from Texas A&M University. This should come as a surprise, since the media has implied otherwise, with even The New York Times describing the 24-year-old NASA public affairs officer, as “a 2003 journalism graduate of Texas A&M.” Although Deutsch did attend Texas A&M University, where he majored in journalism and was scheduled to graduate in 2003, he left in 2004 without a degree, a revelation that I was tipped off to by one of his former coworkers at A&M’s student newspaper The Battalion. I later confirmed this discovery through the records department of the Texas A&M University Association of Former Students.

Deutsch’s former coworker informed me that in the summer of 2004, when Deutsch was the Opinion Editor for The Battalion, he was offered a position in George W. Bush’s presidential reelection campaign. The position was apparently too good to turn down, so Deutsch not only left his editorial post, but he also left A&M completely. Deutsch’s coworker was not aware of him returning to A&M to complete his education. I investigated this further, and through the Association of Former Students, I learned that George Deutsch never graduated from Texas A&M, and the last record of him was from June 9, 2004, when he withdrew.

( BREAKING NEWS: George Deutsch Did Not Graduate From Texas A & M University)

I’m still wondering why a 24-year-old college dropout with no scientific experience was appointed to a position at NASA and encouraged to substitute his own opinion for NASA science.

I bet he gets a job working for the Discovery Institute.

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Comment #78310

Posted by Greg H on February 8, 2006 2:02 PM (e)

The word crony-ism comes to mind.

Comment #78316

Posted by IDiot on February 8, 2006 2:26 PM (e)

The Big Bang “Theory”, by itself, does not undermine the idea of special creation. String Theory and Mulitverses would.

Comment #78368

Posted by Mike Walker on February 8, 2006 5:20 PM (e)

The sad thing is that he only resigned when he was found to be lying about his resume and not because of his actions on the job.

Comment #78374

Posted by CJ O'Brien on February 8, 2006 5:40 PM (e)

Knowing the DI, I’m surprised they’ve kept this bombshell under wraps.
I mean, you’d think they’d want to tell the world about the successful cloning of Casey Luskin.

Comment #78376

Posted by Steviepinhead on February 8, 2006 5:47 PM (e)

They’re probably just waiting for the dust to settle before they extend Mr. Deutsch a job offer–something like Science Suppression Specialist.

Comment #78417

Posted by Gerry L on February 8, 2006 8:16 PM (e)

Interesting. Young George’s experience in one way parallels that of his ultimate patron. Nick Anthis discovered that

“[Deutsch] was offered a position in George W. Bush’s presidential reelection campaign. The position was apparently too good to turn down, so Deutsch not only left his editorial post, but he also left A&M completely.”

Like Deutsch’s educational endeavors, George W’s illustrious military career petered out when he transferred to another unit – and reportedly failed to show up – so he could work on a political campaign.

Maybe THAT is why he won the post at NASA.

Comment #78483

Posted by Raging Bee on February 9, 2006 9:52 AM (e)

The sad thing is that he only resigned when he was found to be lying about his resume and not because of his actions on the job.

Let’s be realistic: I’m sure his employers checked his background before they hired him, knew his qualifications were bollocks, and only hired him because of political pressure from above (and political pressure was his job at NASA anyway). When his actions were exposed and caused embarrassment, his bosses “discovered” his previous lies in order to fire him without attacking the political leadership’s orthodoxy.

Comment #78508

Posted by Henry J on February 9, 2006 12:26 PM (e)

So, will the administration learn from its mistake and hire somebody who actually graducated, to replace this guy?


Comment #78554

Posted by Engineer-Poet, FCD, ΔΠΓ on February 9, 2006 3:13 PM (e)

Why should they?  It would leave them with much harder questions to answer if he did the same sort of meddling.

Then again, that game might be over.

Comment #78581

Posted by Whatever on February 9, 2006 4:13 PM (e)

So, does this mean the position is open for Salvadore Cordova to apply?