I always thought that astronauts had to go through a battery of tests, including psychological assessments, to determine if they had the “right stuff”. That would include the social skills to spend long periods of time with others (say, on a trip to the moon or Mars) without making enemies or losing their cool.
So how do we explain the totally tone deaf and clueless opinions expressed by our currant Governor General at a recent science conference. Ms. Payette (I must refrain from honouring her with the title “Her Excellency”) ridiculed those who believed in divine creation. Presumably that would include the person who appointed her, the Prime Minister…who claims to be a practicing Catholic. And, of course we could provide an endless list here of pre-eminent scientists and philosophers whose insights and discoveries, despite the yoke of religious supersition, have shaped western civilization.
Imagine for a moment, Ms. Payette winging her way to Mars; a mission of at least 4 years with current technology. Within a week or two of blast off (about the same time she took to settle in to her new role as GG before spouting off) she begins to ridicule the beliefs of her fellow astronauts. Something tells me the mission could be doomed.
No doubt Ms. Payette is an intelligent woman. At least she’s got a lot of academic credentials. But one has to wonder if this is a case of “school smart but real-world dumb”, given her infantile comments. And we also have to wonder just how she came to be appointed as a Canadian astronaut. Could it be that there was some sort of affirmative action at work here; a selection based on some other values other than general intelligence and social skills? We either have to figure that she completely bamboozled the shrinks who assessed her, or they didn’t give a damn and based their approval of her on some notion of political correctness.
Well, at least she’s in a relatively harmless position as the GG. The worst she can do is dissolve parliament. It’s not as if she’s in charge of a mission to Mars.