Starts With A Bang

Trump’s NASA Budget Eliminates Education Office, Plunging America Into The Dark (Synopsis)

Acting NASA Administrator Robert Lightfoot discusses the proposed 2018 budget put forth by the White House during an address on the State of NASA. Image credit: Bill Ingalls/NASA.

“First Rate People hire first rate people. Second rate people hire third rate people.” -Hermann Weyl

So, here we are, encountering one another on the internet. There’s a really good chance that this is because you have some interest in space, science, astronomy, astrophysics, or some related area. Although I am an astrophysicist with a Ph,D. in theoretical physics, my focus over the past decade or so has been on education and public outreach: science communication.

As we’re exploring more and more of the Universe, education and outreach becomes more vital than ever if our society wants to be informed about what and where the ‘cutting edge’ of science is. Image credit: NASA, HST and JWST science teams.

There’s an incredible Universe out there that we’re exploring, and the more we learn about it, the more effort we need to put into education and outreach if we want a society that’s with us on the cutting edge. That understands where we are and what we’re doing; that creates valuable opportunities for the next generation of scientists to participate and contribute to the enterprise of science.

The results of the latest OECD study spanning 72 countries placed the United States as ‘average’ in science, ranking 25th. Image credit: the latest triannual OECD PISA assessment, 2015.

So why, then, would we be okay with just eliminating NASA’s Office of Education? If we care about America, we won’t be. Read on.