News FocusBREAKTHROUGH OF THE YEAR

Diving Into the Oil Spill

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Science  17 Dec 2010:
Vol. 330, Issue 6011, pp. 1608
DOI: 10.1126/science.330.6011.1608-a

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Summary

During the massive, 3-month oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico this year, scientists were quick to offer help. It wasn't always easy. Many researchers in the region at first felt unwanted; there were rough patches in coordinating academic and government scientists; and clashes over when to release data sometimes sent the public mixed messages. But through improved communication, researchers ultimately helped devise ways to deal with the leaking well and assessed the scale of the spill.