SHARING THE ADVENTURE
WITH THE PUBLIC

THE VALUE AND EXCITEMENT OF “GRAND QUESTIONS”
OF SPACE SCIENCE AND EXPLORATION

SUMMARY OF A WORKSHOP

Marcia Smith, Rapporteur

Space Studies Board

Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences

  NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL
                          OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS

Washington, D.C.

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Marcia Smith, Rapporteur Space Studies Board Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS Washington, D.C. www.nap.edu

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THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS 500 Fifth Street, N.W. Washington, DC 20001 NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. This study is supported by contracts NNH05CC16C and NNH11CD58D between the National Academy of Sciences and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Cover: Design by Tim Warchocki. Images courtesy of NASA. International Standard Book Number-13: 978-0-309-22159-7 International Standard Book Number-10: 0-309-22159-5 Copies of this report are available free of charge from: Space Studies Board National Research Council 500 Fifth Street, N.W. Washington, DC 20001 Additional copies of this report are available from the National Academies Press, 500 Fifth Street, N.W., Lockbox 285, Washington, DC 20055; (800) 624-6242 or (202) 334-3313 (in the Washington metropolitan area); Internet, http://www.nap.edu. Copyright 2011 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America

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The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Charles M. Vest is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone and Dr. Charles M. Vest are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council. www.nationalacademies.org

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Other Recent Reports of the Space Studies Board Panel Reports⎯New Worlds, New Horizons in Astronomy and Astrophysics (Board on Physics and Astronomy [BPA] and Space Studies Board [SSB], 2011) Recapturing a Future for Space Exploration: Life and Physical Sciences Research for a New Era [prepublication version] (SSB, 2011) Report of the Panel on Implementing Recommendations from the New Worlds, New Horizons Decadal Survey (BPA and SSB, 2011) Vision and Voyages for Planetary Science in the Decade 2013-2022 [prepublication version] (SSB, 2011) Assessment of Impediments to Interagency Collaboration on Space and Earth Science Missions (SSB, 2010) Capabilities for the Future: An Assessment of NASA Laboratories for Basic Research (Laboratory Assessments Board with SSB and the Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board [ASEB], 2010) Controlling Cost Growth of NASA Earth and Space Science Missions (SSB, 2010) Defending Planet Earth: Near-Earth-Object Surveys and Hazard Mitigation Strategies: Final Report (SSB with ASEB, 2010) An Enabling Foundation for NASA’s Space and Earth Science Missions (SSB, 2010) Forging the Future of Space Science: The Next 50 Years (SSB, 2010) Life and Physical Sciences Research for a New Era of Space Exploration: An Interim Report (SSB with ASEB, 2010) New Worlds, New Horizons in Astronomy and Astrophysics (BPA and SSB, 2010) Revitalizing NASA’s Suborbital Program: Advancing Science, Driving Innovation, and Developing a Workforce (SSB, 2010) America’s Future in Space: Aligning the Civil Space Program with National Needs (SSB with ASEB, 2009) Approaches to Future Space Cooperation and Competition in a Globalizing World: Summary of a Workshop (SSB with ASEB, 2009) Assessment of Planetary Protection Requirements for Mars Sample Return Missions (SSB, 2009) Near-Earth Object Surveys and Hazard Mitigation Strategies: Interim Report (SSB with ASEB, 2009) A Performance Assessment of NASA’s Heliophysics Program (SSB, 2009) Radioisotope Power Systems: An Imperative for Maintaining U.S. Leadership in Space Exploration (SSB with ASEB, 2009) Ensuring the Climate Record from the NPOESS and GOES-R Spacecraft: Elements of a Strategy to Recover Measurement Capabilities Lost in Program Restructuring (SSB, 2008) Launching Science: Science Opportunities Provided by NASA’s Constellation System (SSB with ASEB, 2008) Opening New Frontiers in Space: Choices for the Next New Frontiers Announcement of Opportunity (SSB, 2008) Science Opportunities Enabled by NASA’s Constellation System: Interim Report (SSB with ASEB, 2008) Severe Space Weather Events⎯Understanding Societal and Economic Impacts: A Workshop Report (SSB, 2008) Space Science and the International Traffic in Arms Regulations: Summary of a Workshop (SSB, 2008) Assessment of the NASA Astrobiology Institute (SSB, 2007) An Astrobiology Strategy for the Exploration of Mars (SSB with the Board on Life Sciences [BLS], 2007) Building a Better NASA Workforce: Meeting the Workforce Needs for the National Vision for Space Exploration (SSB with ASEB, 2007) Decadal Science Strategy Surveys: Report of a Workshop (SSB, 2007) Earth Science and Applications from Space: National Imperatives for the Next Decade and Beyond (SSB, 2007) Exploring Organic Environments in the Solar System (SSB with the Board on Chemical Sciences and Technology, 2007) Grading NASA’s Solar System Exploration Program: A Midterm Review (SSB, 2007) The Limits of Organic Life in Planetary Systems (SSB with BLS, 2007) NASA’s Beyond Einstein Program: An Architecture for Implementation (SSB with BPA, 2007) Options to Ensure the Climate Record from the NPOESS and GOES-R Spacecraft: A Workshop Report (SSB, 2007) A Performance Assessment of NASA’s Astrophysics Program (SSB with BPA, 2007) Portals to the Universe: The NASA Astronomy Science Centers (SSB, 2007) The Scientific Context for Exploration of the Moon (SSB, 2007) Limited copies of SSB reports are available free of charge from Space Studies Board National Research Council The Keck Center of the National Academies 500 Fifth Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20001 (202) 334-3477/ssb@nas.edu www.nationalacademies.org/ssb/ssb.html iv

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PLANNING COMMITTEE FOR A WORKSHOP ON “SHARING THE ADVENTURE WITH THE PUBLIC”—COMMUNICATING THE VALUE AND EXCITEMENT OF ‘GRAND QUESTIONS’ OF SPACE SCIENCE AND EXPLORATION CHARLES F. KENNEL, University of California, San Diego, Chair LINDA BILLINGS, George Washington University MARGARET FINARELLI, George Mason University LENNARD A. FISK, University of Michigan MOLLY K. MACAULEY, Resources for the Future EDWARD C. STONE, California Institute of Technology A. THOMAS YOUNG, Lockheed Martin Corporation (retired) Workshop Rapporteur MARCIA SMITH, Space and Technology Policy Group, LLC Staff IAN W. PRYKE, Senior Program Officer CATHERINE GRUBER, Editor LEWIS GROSWALD, Research Associate CARMELA J. CHAMBERLAIN, Administrative Coordinator GABRIEL BETANCOURT-MARTINEZ , Lloyd V. Berkner Space Policy Intern BRUNO SÁNCHEZ-ANDRADE NUÑO, Lloyd V. Berkner Space Policy Intern MICHAEL H. MOLONEY, Director, Space Studies Board v

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SPACE STUDIES BOARD CHARLES F. KENNEL, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego, Chair JOHN KLINEBERG, Space Systems/Loral (retired), Vice Chair MARK R. ABBOTT, Oregon State University STEVEN J. BATTEL, Battel Engineering YVONNE C. BRILL, Aerospace Consultant ELIZABETH R. CANTWELL, Oak Ridge National Laboratory ANDREW B. CHRISTENSEN, Dixie State College and Aerospace Corporation ALAN DRESSLER, Observatories of the Carnegie Institution JACK D. FELLOWS, University Corporation for Atmospheric Research HEIDI B. HAMMEL, Space Science Institute FIONA A. HARRISON, California Institute of Technology ANTHONY C. JANETOS, University of Maryland JOAN JOHNSON-FREESE, Naval War College ROBERT P. LIN, University of California, Berkeley MOLLY K. MACAULEY, Resources for the Future JOHN F. MUSTARD, Brown University ROBERT T. PAPPALARDO, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology JAMES PAWELCZYK, Pennsylvania State University MARCIA J. RIEKE, University of Arizona DAVID N. SPERGEL, Princeton University WARREN M. WASHINGTON, National Center for Atmospheric Research CLIFFORD M. WILL, Washington University THOMAS H. ZURBUCHEN, University of Michigan MICHAEL H. MOLONEY, Director CARMELA J. CHAMBERLAIN, Administrative Coordinator TANJA PILZAK, Manager, Program Operations CELESTE A. NAYLOR, Information Management Associate CHRISTINA O. SHIPMAN, Financial Officer SANDRA WILSON, Financial Assistant vi

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Preface The concept for and planning of the Space Studies Board (SSB) workshop “Sharing the Adventure with the Public: The Value and Excitement of ‘Grand Questions’ of Space Science and Exploration” developed over a period of 2 years. Charles F. Kennel, SSB chair, explained at the outset of the workshop that the board felt it was important to look into how NASA and its associated science and exploration communities communicate with the public about what NASA does. The workshop was held November 8-10, 2010, in the auditorium of the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Center of the National Academies in Irvine, California, and was open to the public. Attendance at the 3-day event was approximately 150 people, peaking on the first day.1 The workshop planning committee, chaired by Dr. Kennel, identified five “Grand Questions” in space science and exploration around which the workshop was organized: • Understanding the universe: How did it begin and how is it evolving? • Are we alone? • Understanding the solar system: How did it begin and how is it evolving? • The Earth: Will it remain a hospitable home for humanity in the future? • What could the future hold for humans in space? The statement of task was as follows: The discoveries and achievements of the past 50 years and potential achievements that can be expected in the next 50 years, including specific targets of the next 10 years, for each of these questions will be addressed at the workshop. An agenda will be developed with topics to examine ways to best articulate and best inform the public about these potential achievements and the activities that NASA will undertake to carry out the requisite science and exploration. Additional topics will be defined to include potential improvements in communication efforts, including how NASA views its public outreach responsibilities, as a means of enhancing the level of public understanding and “ownership” of these programs. A major focus of the workshop will be on ways to better sustain public understanding of, interest in, and involvement with NASA science and exploration efforts that might take several years to decades to unfold. The planning group’s role was limited to planning the workshop, and the workshop summary has been prepared by the workshop rapporteur as a factual summary of what occurred at the workshop. The overall goal of the workshop was to encourage dialogue between scientists and professional communicators. Thus the workshop began with a keynote address from a communicator, Miles O’Brien, who was the science and space reporter for CNN for 17 years and now is a science correspondent for PBS NewsHour and for the Spaceflightnow.com website. Following his address, the remainder of the two- and-a-half-day workshop was organized into eight sessions consisting of presentations by one, two, or three speakers, followed by a discussion between the speakers and two panelists, and finally a period of interaction with the audience. Six of the eight sessions featured speakers who were scientists, while the 1 The names, affiliations, and biographical sketches of all workshop speakers and panelists are provided in the Appendix C. vii

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FIGURE P.1 Dilbert, December 11, 2010. SOURCE: Copyright 2010 Scott Adams, Inc. Licensed by United Feature Syndicate, Inc. Used with permission. panelists were communicators. The situation was reversed for the last two sessions where the speakers were communicators and the panelists were scientists. The full agenda for the workshop is published in Appendix B. A major topic of the conversation at the workshop was the role of the new social media, especially Facebook and Twitter, in facilitating communication among scientists and between scientists and the public. The communicators strongly encouraged the scientists to embrace these new forms of communicating. Although two of the younger scientists were already regular users of social media and exhorted their colleagues to at least try them, many of the other scientists clearly were reluctant. SSB chair Kennel, however, ended the workshop with a clarion call to the National Academies to adjust to the revolution in communications and the new media or risk the same fate as media organizations that have failed or are failing because they did not adapt. A Dilbert cartoon, which appeared shortly after the workshop, succinctly captures the forces at work in today’s society (Figure P.1). viii

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Acknowledgment of Reviewers This report has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the National Research Council’s (NRC’s) Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making its published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We wish to thank the following individuals for their review of this summary: Alan Dressler, The Observatories of the Carnegie Institution, Lucy Fortson, University of Minnesota, Andrew Lawler, Science Magazine and Freelance Journalist, Christie Nicholson, Scientific American, and Sara Seager, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Although the reviewers listed above have provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse any of the viewpoints or observations detailed in this report. The review of this report was overseen by J. Craig Wheeler, University of Texas, Austin. Appointed by the NRC, he was responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this summary rests entirely with the rapporteur and the institution. ix

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Contents WORKSHOP OVERVIEW 1 Has Communication Been Effective to Date?, 1 Who Are Scientists Trying to Communicate With and Why?, 4 How to Communicate, 4 Assessments of NASA’s Public Affairs Efforts, 7 Implications of the New Communication Era and How the National Academies Should Respond, 8 KEYNOTE ADDRESS: NO GUTS . . . NO GLORY: WHY NASA NEEDS TO 9 RELISH THE RISK TO STAY RELEVANT SESSION 1: ANSWERING GRAND QUESTIONS 11 Introduction, 11 Roger-Maurice Bonnet, 12 Panel Discussion, 14 Audience Interaction, 15 SESSION 2: UNDERSTANDING THE UNIVERSE: HOW DID IT BEGIN 17 AND HOW IS IT EVOLVING? Introduction, 17 Roger Blandford, 17 Jean-Pierre Swings, 18 Panel Discussion, 19 Audience Interaction, 21 SESSION 3: ARE WE ALONE? 22 Introduction, 22 Sara Seager, 22 Steven Benner, 23 Panel Discussion, 26 Audience Interaction, 27 SESSION 4: UNDERSTANDING THE SOLAR SYSTEM: HOW DID IT BEGIN 29 AND HOW IS IT EVOLVING? Introduction, 29 Heidi B. Hammel, 29 Edward C. Stone, 32 Panel Discussion, 33 Audience Interaction, 33 xi

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SESSION 5: THE EARTH: WILL IT REMAIN A HOSPITABLE HOME 35 FOR HUMANITY IN THE FUTURE? Introduction, 35 Berrien Moore III, 36 Roger-Maurice Bonnet, 39 Panel Discussion, 41 Audience Interaction, 42 SESSION 6: WHAT COULD THE FUTURE HOLD FOR HUMANS IN SPACE? 43 Introduction, 43 Kim Stanley Robinson, 43 Jeff M. Bingham, 45 Panel Discussion, 46 Audience Interaction, 47 SESSION 7: INSPIRING PUBLIC INTEREST IN SPACE RESEARCH 49 AND EXPLORATION: COMMUNICATIONS CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES Introduction, 49 Dietram A. Scheufele, 50 Marc Kaufman, 52 Linda Billings, 52 Panel Discussion, 53 Audience Interaction, 54 SESSION 8: COMMUNICATION PATHWAYS TO THE PUBLIC: READING, 55 WATCHING, INTERACTING Introduction, 55 Andrew Lawler, 55 Dexter Cole, 56 Christie Nicholson, 57 Panel Discussion and Audience Interaction, 58 SUMMARY AND CONCLUDING REMARKS 59 Comments at the Opening of Day Two, 59 Comments at the Close of the Workshop, 59 APPENDIXES A Statement of Task 65 B Workshop Agenda 66 C Biographies of Speakers, Moderators, Planning Committee, Rapporteur, and Reviewers 71 xii