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5 December 2013 11:26 am ,
Vol. 342 ,
Dyslexia, a learning disability that hinders reading, hasn't been associated with deficits in vision, hearing, or...
Exotic, elusive, and dangerous, snakes have fascinated humankind for millennia. They can be hard to find, yet their...
Researchers have sequenced and analyzed the first two snake genomes, which represent two evolutionary extremes. The...
Snake venoms are remarkably complex mixtures that can stun or kill prey within minutes. But more and more researchers...
At age 30, Dutch biologist Freek Vonk has built up a respectable career as a snake scientist. But in his home country,...
Since arriving on the island of Guam in the 1940s, the brown tree snake ( Boiga irregularis ) has extirpated native...
An animal rights group known as the Nonhuman Rights Project filed lawsuits in three New York courts this week in an...
Researchers have been hot on the trail of the elusive Denisovans, a type of ancient human known only by their DNA and...
- 5 December 2013 11:26 am , Vol. 342 , #6163
- 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.