2050 Science Framework Review (1st Round)

We are arriving at an important benchmark in our planning for future scientific ocean drilling. With this letter we present the first version of the 2050 Science Framework, entitled Exploring Earth Through Scientific Ocean Drilling, now ready for your examination and peer review.

This new 2050 Science Framework has a 25-year outlook to 2050, inspiring state-of-the-art approaches for scientific ocean drilling far into the mid-21st century. Foundational Earth science research is described in seven Strategic Objectives and five Flagship Initiatives that encourage innovation and new discoveries. The major objective of scientific ocean drilling is to advance our understanding of Earth as an interconnected system through multi-disciplinary and societally relevant collaborative research endeavor..

The content outline of framework was reviewed via online postings on iodp.org in August 2019 and has been endorsed by the FORUM in September 2019. We are now primarily seeking input from the international science community on the framework's scientific merit, accuracy, and completeness, so that each chapter strongly conveys the aspirations for future scientific ocean drilling through 2050.

To download the Science Framework document and access the comment area, use the password provided by your Program Member Office in the box below.

Note that the 2050 Science Framework is Open for Commenting until 15 March 23:00 PST..


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In 2011, the international scientific ocean drilling community released Illuminating Earth's Past, Present, and Future, the Science Plan for the International Ocean Discovery Program (2013-2023). This science plan has been the basis for ocean drilling research expeditions in line with IODP's principles of scientific investigation.  

Planning for a new science framework for the post-2023 era is now underway. International planning workshops were held from September 2018 through August 2019 in India, Australia, Japan, Europe, the United States, and China to capture the opinions of these international science communities. By the end of this process, over 800 participants had worked together to explore possibilities for a post-2023 science framework for scientific ocean drilling and devised recommendations and key outcomes

In July 2019, nineteen international delegates forming the Science Framework Working Group met to produce a  draft Science Plan Structure and Road Map document highlighting the commonalities in the workshop outcomes and indicating a potential way forward towards a post-2023 science framework. The draft was improved by comments from the community and the revised  Science Framework Structure and Road Map Document, entitled Exploring Earth by Scientific Ocean Drilling, was endorsed by the IODP Forum at its August 2019 meeting in Osaka, Japan, and presented at the 2019 IODP Town Hall Meeting at the AGU Fall Meeting. Key features are: 

  1. A strong emphasis on interdisciplinary science at the crosslinks between science themes;
  2. Enabling the next generation in scientific ocean drilling through a science plan that extends to 2050;
  3. Eight open-ended strategic objectives that form the core of the science plan;
  4. Five long-term, interdisciplinary flagship initiatives that address critical societal challenges;
  5. Five-year programmatic reviews that allow intermediate adjustments or additions.

An expanded writing team of 40 expert authors and reviewers has been formed to develop the contents of the strategic objectives and flagship initiatives into an expanded first draft of the post-2023 Science Framework. This draft will be posted for community comment in mid-February 2020. The final version of the new Science Framework is planned to be available in June 2020.

Delegates (19) to the Science Framework Working Group:

 Anthony Koppers (Chair) Oregon State University U.S 
 Cristiano Chiessi University of São Paulo Brazil
 Gail Christeson University of Texas at Austin U.S. 
 Mike Coffin University of Tasmania Australia (ANZIC)
 Rosalind Coggon University of Southampton U.K. (ECORD)
 Stuart Henrys GNS Science New Zealand (ANZIC)
 Yoon-Mi Kim KIGAM Korea
 Iona McIntosh JAMSTEC Japan
 Katsuyoshi Michibayashi Nagoya University Japan
 Yuki Morono KCC, JAMSTEC Japan
 Antony Morris University of Plymouth U.K. (ECORD)
 Richard Norris Scripps Institution of Oceanography U.S. 
 Matt O'Regan Stockholm University Sweden (ECORD)
 Anais Pages CSIRO Australia (ANZIC)
 Dhananjai Pandey NCPOR India
 Sandra Passchier Montclair State University U.S.
 Zhen Sun S. China Sea Institute of Oceanology China
 Jun Tian Tongji University China
 Huaiyang Zhou Tongji University  China

This area is under construction.

International Workshops:

Below are provided the summary presentations from the International IODP planning workshops, focusing on scientific priorities and proposals for a future science plan structure.

Ocean Planet Workshop (ANZIC)

PROCEED: Exploring Frontiers of Scientific Ocean Drilling (ECORD)

Scientific Drilling Beyond 2023 (J-DESC)

NEXT: Scientific Ocean Drilling Beyond 2023 (USSSP) 

New Science Plan Structure and Road Map open for comments until August 26, 2019 23:00 PST:

The comment period for the  New Science Plan Structure and Road Map document is now closed. Based on your input, a final document will be prepared by the Science Plan Working Group to be presented at the annual meeting of the IODP Forum in Osaka in September 2019.

Community comments were provided via Disqus or emailed to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. When commenting with Disqus, you can provide general input on the overall plan, structure, or roadmap, or comment on specific text using the line numbers in the document.  Disqus also provides the opportunity to reply to other people's comments, or upvote them.

To expose the link to the comment page, type the password provided by your IODP Program Member Office in the box below. If you have a Disqus account you will be recognized automatically when you attempt to comment. Otherwise, you will be prompted to set up a Disqus identity using your real name or an alias. 

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