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17 April 2014 12:48 pm ,
Vol. 344 ,
Officials last week revealed that the U.S. contribution to ITER could cost $3.9 billion by 2034—roughly four times the...
An experimental hepatitis B drug that looked safe in animal trials tragically killed five of 15 patients in 1993. Now,...
Using the two high-quality genomes that exist for Neandertals and Denisovans, researchers find clues to gene activity...
A new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes that humanity has done little to slow...
Astronomers have discovered an Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone of a red dwarf—a star cooler than the sun—500...
Three years ago, Jennifer Francis of Rutgers University proposed that a warming Arctic was altering the behavior of the...
- 17 April 2014 12:48 pm , Vol. 344 , #6181
- About Us
Going It Alone Deep Under the Ocean
25 August 2011 2:00 pm
Succumbing to budgetary pressures, the National Science Foundation (NSF) has decided to pull out of the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) when it expires in September 2013. The decision will leave the scientific ocean drilling programs of both Japan—the co-leader with the United States in the 26-nation IODP—and Europe to fend for themselves while the United States solicits contributions from former IODP countries to return its own drill ship to full-time operation.
Fiscal strains had been building for several years. A doubling of NSF's budget had not materialized, and even future budget increases are doubtful. The cost of fuel for the ship, the JOIDES Resolution, has skyrocketed, and cost overruns in the recent refurbishment of the ship are still being paid off. The proposed new arrangement would streamline the management of drilling, according to NSF officials, allowing new economies. Unspecified "new external sources of revenue" would also be generated.
Last week's announcement did not surprise Japanese drilling officials. They say they will look to the international community not so much for funding as intellectual input in planning and executing the scientific agenda of the far more capable Chikyu drill ship.
This week's issue of Science contains an exclusive report on why NSF took this surprising step, and what it means for the rest of the global scientific community.