Monday, April 05, 2010

Footnotes in presidential space plan can't be ignored

You've got to read between the lines and ask questions before accepting what you read in just about any report by the government or its space contractors.

On all sides of the battle over whether NASA's planned space transportation system should be scrapped in favor of private space taxis, people are tossing around statistics and findings from reports coming out of NASA, the White House and private firms.

To be clear, nobody is lying. Just remember that critical asterisks and footnotes often get ignored. Summaries often don't explain weaknesses, assumptions or even bias, all of which influence the findings of any research.

Read the rest of today's space column here.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

From a journalism point of view, that was a terrible article, mainly because it reeked of bias. But, that being said, it was probably the best piece from Florida Today that I've read in a while. The argument that the statistics aren't always fair is a new, valid and potent argument. Hopefully, this debate could keep our space program, economy and livelihood around for generations to come.

I think that everyone in Brevard is connected to the success of the Space Program in one way or another. I hope that everyone realizes that. A commercial program doesn't employ the people that we care about. A commercial program doesn't draw thousands of excited kids and passionate parents from every corner of the country. Maybe Obama will see the truth and reality of this situation.