George Carlton Deutsch III was a press officer of the United States space agency NASA. He was appointed to the position by George W. Bush, having previously worked in the Bush/Cheney 2004 campaign "War Room" and on the 55th Presidential Inaugural Committee.
Deutsch gained notoriety in late 2005 and early 2006, when it was reported that he had instructed a NASA website designer to add the word "theory" after every occurrence of the phrase Big Bang. In his memo to the website designer, Mr. Deutsch wrote that the Big Bang is "not proven fact; it is opinion... It is not NASA's place, nor should it be to make a declaration such as this about the existence of the universe that discounts intelligent design by a creator... This is more than a science issue, it is a religious issue." The memo also noted that the AP Stylebook calls for the usage of the phrase "Big Bang theory".
Prior to the 2004 Bush/Cheney presidential campaign, Deutsch had been a student at Texas A&M University. His NASA résumé falsely asserted that he had a B.A. degree in journalism, but in February 2006 a blogger at The Scientific Activist discovered that he had never graduated. This was subsequently confirmed by Texas A&M, and Mr. Deutsch resigned from NASA. Deutsch later returned to Texas A&M and completed his degree that year.
Dr. James E. Hansen, the director of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, and several other career NASA scientists and public affairs officials had been interviewed by The New York Times in January 2006. In these interviews, they complained about "intensifying efforts by political appointees in NASA, including Mr. Deutsch, to control more closely" the content of their public statements. Deutsch, speaking to the New York Times, gave his opinion that Dr. Hansen had exaggerated the threat of global warming. He denied lying to NASA about his college degree.
- Revkin, Andrew (2006-02-04). "NASA Chief Backs Agency Openness". The New York Times. Retrieved 2007-06-06.
- Anthis, Nick (2006-02-06). "BREAKING NEWS: George Deutsch Did Not Graduate From Texas A & M University". The Scientific Activist (blog). Retrieved 2007-06-06.
- Revkin, Andrew (2006-02-08). "A Young Bush Appointee Resigns His Post at NASA". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-03-29.
- Deutsch, George (2007-03-19). "Testimony to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2007-07-09. Retrieved 2007-07-15.
- Revkin, Andrew (2006-02-10). "Ex-Press Aide for NASA Offers Defense". The New York Times. Retrieved 2007-06-06.
- George Deutsch's testimony before Rep. Waxman's Government Oversight Committee, alongside James Hansen's, can be seen on a C-SPAN video at "rtsp://video.c-span.org/project/energy/energy031907_climate.rm" by cutting and pasting what is between the quotes into your browser's address bar.
- Climate expert says NASA tried to silence him, New York Times, January 29, 2006, Andrew C. Revkin
- Ex-Press Aide for NASA Offers Defense, New York Times, February 10, 2006, Andrew C. Revkin
- Squelching effort afoot, climate scientist claims, International Herald Tribune, January 29, 2006, Andrew C. Revkin
- George Deutsch, Up and Coming PAO Politico, Nasawatch, February 3, 2006, Keith Cowing[dead link]
- NASA Chief Backs Agency Openness, New York Times, February 4, 2006, Andrew C. Revkin
- Gagged prophet - The Bush administration continues to ignore climate change while trying to silence government scientists, Houston Chronicle, February 4, 2006
- Has NASA's press office gone too far? One scientist's complaint of censorship has put the spotlight on NASA, email@example.com, Tony Reichhardt (available only to "premium plus" subscribers)
- "Trust me?" On what conceivable basis?, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Eric Mink
- George Deutsch Did Not Graduate From Texas A & M University, The Scientific Activist, February 6, 2006, Nick Anthis
- NASA Political Appointee Only Has High School Diploma, Digg
- NASA Science Censor Resigns, The Scientific Activist, February 8, 2006, Nick Anthis
- A Young Bush Appointee Resigns His Post at NASA, New York Times, February 8, 2006, Andrew C. Revkin
- NASA Aide Who Resigned Over Warming Offers Defense, New York Times, February 10, 2006, Andrew C. Revkin