|The 160 participants of the ICDP Science Conference|
The ICDP’s aim is to provide funding and infrastructure that facilitate outstanding science by obtaining cores of rock, ice or sediments that are archives of our planet over the last 4.5 billion years. Key questions are focussed on climate change, natural hazards, Earth’s resources and the origins of life on Earth. As we head toward a warming world where hazards are becoming increasingly disruptive and resources more scarce, there has never been a greater need to drill into our Earth to answer key scientific questions. However as questions become more pertinent to a sustained and prosperous life on Earth there is increasingly a need for targeted research. Over the past few years ICDP funding has been used to underpin research themes from other international research programmes, this is a great joined up approach especially where those questions are aligned with our main societal challenges. However discussion was needed concerning ICDP’s future and this was the rationale behind the conference.
geological monoliths in the grounds of GFZ, |
Potsdam where the conference was held. Note the
large column of marble with blue (azurite?) veining.
Early career scientists were represented at the meeting and were asked how ICDP could facilitate their involvement. In particular, they were concerned about the age structure of ICDP (with a high number of very experienced scientists) and the low diversity (women, ethnic mixtures). They felt they could be helped to integrate more within ICDP via a post doctoral fellowship programme, travel support to ICDP workshops, conferences, networking opportunities, as well as better access to successful proposals. All suggestions we should be mindful of – so thanks to them for giving this some thought.
The next stage is for the ICDP community to pull together a “white paper” on the findings of this conference and publication of the keynote reviews and active projects in a special issue of the International Journal of Earth Sciences. Both coming soon! Keep a look out for more information on the UK’s ICDP blog page, website here and via their Twitter @ICDPdrilling.