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New Mexico Press Women
Dirk Gibson, professor and chairman of the Communications and Journalism Department at UNM, donated more than 500 books in his personal library to Sandia Prep.
New Mexico Space History Voices Archives
Dirk C. Gibson, an associate professor at the University of New Mexico offered his perspective in an op-ed column in the November 30, 2014, issue of the Albuquerque Journal.
The Space Review: Review: Terrestrial and Extraterrestrial Space Dangers
by Dirk C. Gibson
It's pretty clear after reading just the first few chapters that Gibson is in over his head, and doesn't truly understand the subject matter he's discussing. At first glance, Terrestrial and Extraterrestrial Space Dangers would appear to be a good guide to those issues. Dirk Gibson, a professor of mass communications at the University of New Mexico, examines the various risks posed by space to people in space and on the Earth. He splits those risks into three categories: risks posed by space itself (asteroid impacts, supernovae, etc.), the risks associated with launching into space, and risks to human health from space, including bone and muscle loss and vision issues. He wraps up the book by trying to quantify and categorize the severity of those various risks. In theory, that approach offers a rigorous analysis of the risks that could inform companies, individuals, and governments. In practice, though, not so much. It's pretty clear after reading just the first few chapters that Gibson is in over his head, and doesn't truly understand the subject matter he's discussing. And it gets no better as you plow through all thirty chapters of the book. Gibson has clearly done a lot of research, and quotes liberally from those sources: a typical ten-page chapter has about 50 endnotes, although the same sources are often used multiple times in the same chapter. But while there's plenty of research, there's little synthesis or analysis of that research, and little sign he is doing anything more than regurgitating quotes from those sources. That lack of subject matter expertise shows up throughout the book. In addition to a chapter on "near-Earth asteroids and near-Earth objects," there are chapters on asteroids, meteors, and even centaurs, objects orbiting beyond Saturn that pose very little risk to anyone on or near Earth. (Oddly, he doesn't give Kuiper Belt or Oort Cloud objects their own chapter or chapters.) The book is also filled with other typos and errors that indicate problems with both its writing and editing.
"Major recalls will inevitably be highly publicized because they are attractive news stories, so no one has to worry about looking for recalls beyond paying attention to local TV, radio, and newspaper," says Dirk Gibson, an associate professor of mass communications at the University of New Mexico, who has studied recalls.
But the fact is, there are so many recalls and they only become a talked-about story when say, unsafe products continue to be sold or when there's a big controversy (like deaths from faulty car parts) or even criminal charges. The number of annual recalls varies, but it hovers around 2,000, and some years is as high as 2,500, Gibson says. That's almost 7 per day.
There has been very little publicity," said Dirk Gibson, a professor at the University of New Mexico who has written two books on serial killers.
"It's logical that there may be more than one grave site," said Gibson. "Albuquerqueans don't relate to the victims; they think they're just a bunch of hookers and drug addicts," Gibson said.