Reality and PR

Every now and then I go back re-reading stuff that I find of particular significance.

One such piece is the Appendix to the report on the Space Shuttle “Challenger” disaster on January 28th, 1986. I have previously explained my link to the STS-51-L mission.

The Rogers Commission delivered to President Reagan its report six months later and Feynman, then a superstar physicist, played a key role in exposing NASA’s management misguided assumptions over safety factors.

The 9-page Appendix is great reading for anyone interested in the fine art of divulgation (download it here): never superficial, Feynman explains the mistakes made by management in rigorous terms but with what we could call, were it not for the sad subject, entertaining prose.

At the end, however, there is a sentence that I think should be learned by heart by all those practicing the PR profession:

[…] reality must take precedence over public relations, for nature cannot be fooled.

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