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NASA Science

NASA Appoints New Chief Scientist 66

Posted by Soulskill
from the welcome-aboard dept.
SchrodingerZ writes "Planetary Geologist Ellen Stofan, expert in the terrains of Venus, Mars, and Titan, has recently been appointed the Chief Scientist for the space agency. Stofan will act as the top adviser for Charles Bolden, NASA's current administrator. Beginning August 25th, Stofan will be Bolden's head adviser for NASA's project planning and investments. She will replace former chief scientist Dr. Waleed Abdalati, who left his position to be the director of the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences at the University of Colorado. Stofan has both a masters and doctoral degree of geological sciences from Brown University, and is known for her involvement in the Applied Science Laboratory's project to put a boat on Saturn's moon Titan, as well as a member of the radar team for the Cassini spacecraft. Though she'll be joining in a time of large budget cuts, Bolden explains that '[Stofan's] breadth of experience and familiarity with the agency will allow her to hit the ground running. We're fortunate to have her on our team.'"
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NASA Appoints New Chief Scientist

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  • How can one claim expertise in a subject one has never experienced?

    • How can one claim expertise in a subject one has never experienced?

      Through the process of studying it from afar. According to the summary she is apparently an "expert in the terrains of Venus, Mars, and Titan". She probably knows a LOT about geology, atmospheric physics, chemistry, and other fields related to planetary terrains; and then learned domain specific things about what we can infer from those bodies from what we've been able to see. Going there would probably help a great deal in cementing or altering some beliefs, but it's not necessary for being an expert on

      • by EzInKy (115248)

        So the claimed "experts" have no idea if the meaning of the languages were changed with such subleties by gestures? You can't know a thing is so without having experienced the thing.

        • So the claimed "experts" have no idea if the meaning of the languages were changed with such subleties by gestures? You can't know a thing is so without having experienced the thing.

          You can't know anything at all, but you get in to the realm of pointless philosophical mental masturbation if you don't start accepting some things as being fundamentally true.

          Also, as someone that has experienced psychedelic substances (quite a lot), it's also probably worth mentioning that just because your senses tell you something, that doesn't necessarily make it any more real than what reasoning can deduce.

          • by EzInKy (115248)

            Didn't Asimov write a whole series about the Foundation of your thoughts? In many ways context is the key to understanding.

        • by Sockatume (732728)

          More formally, your knowledge of certain aspects of the language is strictly bounded by the loss of this information. Historical linguistics as a field knows this and does research into it. I don't see that this undermines the expertise of a historical linguist any more than the uncertainty principle undermines the expertise of the theoretical physicist.

      • by Muad'Dave (255648)

        It's really no different to someone being an "expert on historical linguistics" ...

        Yes, but are you a cunning linguist?

        • Yes, but are you a cunning linguist?

          My wife seems to think so ;)

          Having linguistics as a hobby tends to lend itself to using that joke rather often...

    • by Sockatume (732728)

      The same way that an expert ship navigator doesn't have to have gone out and personally charted every coastline?

  • I am a scientist and I find the idea of calling our boss "chief" hilarious. Maybe I should try calling his boss "master chief" (and hope he doesn't know Halo...)
  • by symbolset (646467) *
    Another Warmist then?

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