IODP - New Science Plan 2013-2024 - URGENT RESPONSE REQUIRED


The Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP; is inviting you to submit comments on the draft of a new science plan that will guide scientific ocean drilling and related observatory science for a decade starting in late 2013. The input from you to this science plan is of utmost importance to ensure that this document has broad support of the wider scientific community.

This public hearing period is running for four weeks from August 24 to September 21. We may not be able to consider comments received after the deadline.

Background and actions required:

IODP ends September, 2013. The existing program will be neither continued nor renewed. Rather, an international consortium of more than 24 nations, represented through an International Working Group, seeks to develop a plan for a new drilling program. The success of this effort is not a given and will, because of the high costs involved, undergo scientific and political scrutiny at the very highest national levels.

The current drilling program has resulted in profound advances in a number of new science fields: Arctic coring, high-resolution paleo-climate proxies, deep crustal drilling, sub-seafloor observatory science, and the study of an active biosphere to depths of 1.6 km below the seabed. As the spectrum of science supported by ocean drilling is expanding and becoming more cross-disciplinary (i.e., Earth, Ocean, Climate, Life Sciences, and in-Situ processes), we seek your help to make sure that a wide perspective on the most innovative and compelling science for a new drilling program post 2013 is presented.

We sincerely hope you will give this matter your attention. Specifically, we solicit your comments on:

a)  Identify critical topics or themes that are essential for securing broad support for the new program, but not sufficiently well covered in the existing draft. The goal here is to make the strongest possible case to a wide audience. However, please, understand that the topics listed can not possibly be inclusive of all possible kinds of science, and that the writing committee, based on prior community input, has chosen a number exciting examples to guide the future science, rather than create an all inclusive, exhaustive list of topics.  FYI, the new drilling program will be responsive to proposals developed and submitted by the scientific community. Proposals will be evaluated by a scientific advisory structure.

b)  Scientific editorial comments on individual subsections by experts in those fields. Are there changes to the text and figures that will help to make them more accurate and/or compelling?

c)  Substantive comments on overall structure, overall message, and excitement of draft science plan. How does it present as a "whole"? The science plan needs to capture the imagination and excitement of ocean drilling science, and inspire readers to be supportive based on a big vision of innovation and discovery. Please point out where the current draft does this job well, and, most importantly, where it may need to be improved.

d) Suggest places where the draft can be made shorter without loosing essential information or impact. The goal is that the final science plan will be reduced rather than expanded in length. Please, bear in mind that a small team lead by a science writer eventually will reformat the science plan to provide a visually more attractive and navigable document with a single and, most likely, less specialized style of writing. Scientific edits and suggestions for shortening might therefore be more effective than complete rewrites.

The draft of the new science plan can be downloaded here 

Comments should be sent to:  (before September 21)

Further background information and guidelines for submissions of comments are located at the above URL. For your convenience, the draft of the science plan for the new drilling program is available in both PDF and RTF format.

We look forward to receive your comments.

Thank you in advance,

Hans Christian Larsen

Vice-President, IODP Management International