Donald Savage Headquarters, Washington, DC 1995 (Phone: 202/358-1547


July 25,

RELEASE: 95-123 NASA RELEASES NEW SCIENCE POLICY GUIDE FOR PUBLIC COMMENT NASA is seeking public comment on a new science policy guide which will become the agency's major instrument for communication about its conduct of science. Called "Science in Air and Space: NASA's Science Policy Guide," the policy guide will publish for the first time the framework for pursuing the agency's science goals. The guide is intended for use by the research community, other agencies and branches of government, industry and the American public. "I ask all participants and beneficiaries to take the time to review, comment and enrich this policy," said NASA Administrator Daniel S. Goldin. "We want this to be America's policy for scientific research in civil air and space, not just NASA's policy. When boldly executed, this policy can make research in air and space much more meaningful, both intellectually and economically, for future generations of Americans." NASA's Chief Scientist Dr. France Cordova said the policy is a guide which not only addresses the rationale and conduct of the agency's science programs in a rapidly changing environment, but also describes the roles and responsibilities of individuals, groups, institutions and commercial enterprises. Development of the draft policy represents more than a year of effort by the NASA Science

Council as well as reviews by non-NASA researchers throughout the country. "It covers a broad policy landscape and deals with multi-faceted issues," said Cordova. "One of the most farreaching discussions in the guide is how partnerships -diverse representations of individuals, groups and institutions -- and contributions by the international scientific community are important to enhance the quality and vitality of NASA's science programs."

- more -2The guide examines the importance of peer review, advisory committees and metrics in assessing quality. According to the guide, among the responsibilities of NASA and its participants are early dissemination of scientific data; education and communicating science to the public; fostering of long-term basic research; and developing and using new technologies to advance science and provide economic returns to the nation. NASA's science policy guide is consistent with the NASA Strategic Plan and "Science in the National Interest," the President's science and technology policy document released last year. The policy guide covers science research in a broad sense -- fundamental and strategic, basic and applied -- and includes focused scientific research and interpretation that provide the foundation for engineering research, projects and technology. "This is the first time NASA has had such an allencompassing research policy. I want to encourage people to feel comfortable communicating and working with us on producing a policy that is relevant and meaningful for all America," said Goldin. Public comment will be accepted over the next six months. Those with access to the internet can retrieve the document by using a web browser through links from the NASA

public affairs home page at "" under the section "Hot Topics" or directly at "" (no quotation marks). In addition, the document will be available via anonymous ftp at, where further instructions may be found in the README file. Responses can be sent via e-mail to Copies of the draft policy also are available for review at NASA Centers, or by calling the NASA Headquarters Information Center at 202/358-0000. The final document is expected to be published following the six-month public comment period. - end EDITOR'S NOTE: Copies of the document are available for media representatives by calling the NASA Newsroom at 202/358-1600. NASA press releases and other information are available automatically by sending an Internet electronic mail message to In the body of the message (not the subject line) users should type the words "subscribe pressrelease" (no quotes). The system will reply with a confirmation via E-mail of each subscription. A second automatic message will include additional information on the service. Questions should be directed to (202) 358-4043.