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NASA Can Talk After All

In an earlier story, we reported that the White House issued an order stating that "No one from NASA is to do interviews or otherwise comment on anything having to do with" the film The Day After Tomorrow. But NASA public affairs administrator Glenn Mahone now says, "We encourage our researchers to openly answer all appropriate questions regarding the science explored in the movie."

The "NASA Notice to all Employees Regarding Media Reports about the film 'The Day After Tomorrow'" says: "News reports in recent days have suggested that NASA has attempted to 'muzzle' researchers from responding to the issues raised in the upcoming movie 'The Day After Tomorrow.' To the contrary, NASA expects that as colleagues, we will speak our minds, regardless of whether those views work to the advantage of the agency or not. Diversity of opinion is a valuable resource and plays an important role as we work to successfully fulfill our mission objectives."

"To clarify the specific issue, a number of NASA colleagues assisted with the film's development. However, we require producers to sign a cooperation agreement before offering any formal advance promotional support. This is a standard agency policy that has successfully worked with other entertainment blockbusters such as 'Armageddon' and 'Space Cowboys.' But the producers of 'The Day After Tomorrow' have not signed an agreement. As such, NASA does not plan any specific support of this production."

"This direction should not be interpreted as an attempt to keep scientists from speaking out on the issue of climate change. We encourage our researchers to openly answer all appropriate questions regarding the science explored in the movie."

Glenn MahoneAssistant Administrator of Public Affairs

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