No Changes for NASA Research or Communications Under Trump Administration

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NASA’s Earth science division director Michael Freilich said there have been no changes to the agency’s programs or policies since the Trump administration took office. His statement comes after a number of agencies found themselves restricted in certain activities by the new administration.

At a town hall meeting during the 97th Annual Meeting of the American Meteorological Society (AMS), Freilich confirmed that the new administration had made no changes to his programs.

“Nobody has told us to change anything we are doing,” he said during the session. “Keep doing your work, keep making advances, keep building credibility.”

Freilich’s comments follow directives from the new administration to some federal agencies to suspend research activities and communications with the public and media. Impacted agencies include the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Agriculture (DOA).

“We have not been given any direction to add to, delete from, or modify and refine in any way the plan with the money that has been appropriated,” he said after being asked about the EPA restrictions. “There is no direction that we have received to date to change course at all.”

“NASA Earth science division, and I believe I can say the NASA Science Mission Directorate, have not been given any direction to change either what we are doing, how we are doing it or how we are talking about it, as of right now,” he continued.

Freilich went on to encouraged his colleagues in attendance to talk to the public about their vital research.

“The measurements that you take, the understanding that you get, the applications that you develop have the ability to improve the quality of life of everybody on this planet,” said Freilich.

Freilich continued by confirming that the transition of administrations had not caused problems for him. “Things seem to be running relatively smoothly within the agency through this transition period,” he said.

He noted that the team of political appointees at NASA coordinating the agency’s activities with the administration was now up to eight people.

 

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