Sending the Wrong Signal

A recent conference was hosted by one of NASA’s international partners, with participation by multiple countries, as well as NASA and the Air Force Research Laboratory

. All agencies were recognized for their contributions except, most notably, NASA.

Regarding this apparent omission, the conference chair indicated to me that a request had been submitted to NASA for permission to cite it and its logo. Unfortunately, no response was ever received from the authorities at NASA headquarters. The chair said that

if NASA is not eager to respond and advertise their support, then OK with them.

Poor communication of NASA partnerships, especially with the international community, is nothing new. I have learned from first-hand experience the difficulty in obtaining permission to show the NASA logo on the

Web site of an international partner

with whom we are collaborating on an upcoming workshop.

It may seem trivial, but this lack of visibility for NASA’s involvement in international conferences is a sad state of affairs (or is that “public affairs”?). This is compounded by the crippling effect that the International Traffic in Arms Regulations

restrictions have had on NASA’s partnering with other countries, including launch services, and by the current political environment.

NASA is sending the wrong signal to our international partners, who continue to be frustrated by agency policies and by poor communication that stifle effective collaboration.

Name withheld by request