Greek-American space scientist and professor Stamatios Krimigis has been head-hunted to work as a pro bono adviser to Greece’s Ministry of Digital Governance, Minister Kyriakos Perrakakis announced on Tuesday.
The 80-year-old scientist, who is an emeritus of the Applied Physics Laboratory at Johns Hopkins University in the United States, as well as one of the pioneers of NASA’s unmanned space exploration programs, is also a member of the Academy of Athens.
Krimigis had been appointed to head the newly-established Hellenic Space Agency (HSA) in April of 2018 by the former administration of Alexis Tsipras, but he resigned just a few weeks into his tenure, citing “political interference.”
At the time, it came as a surprise that a person of such merit, without having political connections or through a process of endless red tape, had been hired by the government. It seemed too good to be true for the Greek standards of governance.
Unfortunately, for the great astrophysicist — but mostly for Greece — it was too good to be true, as Krimigis occupied his position for only a few weeks.
He submitted his resignation accompanied by a lengthy letter, citing reasons such as ministerial decisions that had been taken which “practically invalidated the reason for the existence of the HSA.”
The noted scientist also spoke in his letter of Greece’s “unreliable bureaucratic structure” and his feeling that he was serving as a “puppet for politicians in charge.”