In DepthOceanography Funding

A moment of truth arrives for U.S. ocean science

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Science  30 Jan 2015:
Vol. 347, Issue 6221, pp. 463
DOI: 10.1126/science.347.6221.463

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For years, U.S. marine scientists have fretted about the future of their field, watching as federal funding stagnated and the cost of seafloor observatories and other infrastructure steadily eroded the money available for research. But there's been little agreement on how to respond. That changed last week, as an unprecedented, 2-year effort to set priorities for the beleaguered field unveiled some hard-edged recommendations. The National Science Foundation should immediately cut funding for several major hardware programs in order to divert some $40 million a year back to science, concluded a 20-member panel organized by the National Research Council. The cuts are "the only way to recover funding for core science," concluded the panel. If adopted, however, the reductions could cause painful restrictions in some programs.