Ye Olde Swimming Hole

current, insightful, yet nostalgic

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Let's poll the citizen scientists

I blogged about CNN's Quick Polls once before, here's another meaningless question from today. CNN is wondering whether "the spacewalk to repair Discovery's protruding tile gap filler is :

Too risky"

Of course NASA has a team of the most qualified, educated and experienced experts working on the problem, but perhaps we should make the decision depending on how the public votes. This is another example of a ridiculous "Quick vote" question. How would the general public know if this precedure is "necessary" or "too risky?" We're talking about walking in space which 99.99% of the public know nothing about and an even lower percentage have never done.

What is troublesome here is that the media use of these polls and their coverage can create public opinion that may pressure NASA (and other organizations) unduly. Let the experts do their jobs and stick to what you know.


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