Future of IODP

Planning for a post-2023 Science Plan

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.  

Discussions about the possibility of a new science plan for the post-2023 era are now underway. Four international planning workshops were held in April and May 2019 in Australia, Japan, Europe, and the United States to capture the opinions of the science communities based in those regions; each workshop included international participants to provide cross-cutting views. These workshops were intended to assess the continuing relevance of the 2013-2023 science plan and, in light of expedition outcomes since 2013, explore whether changes were warranted. The outcomes of those planning workshops, representing the opinions of hundreds of active researchers, are now available

The development from here will follow a timeline set by the IODP Forum.  In July 2019, a core working group will meet to produce a Road Map document highlighting the commonalities of the workshop outcomes and indicating a potential way forward towards a new or revised science plan. The Road Map will be made available for community comment and will be discussed at the annual meeting of the IODP Forum in Osaka in September 2019. 

Following discussion at the IODP Forum, the core working group and an additional 10-15 scientists will form a writing group. The writing group will produce a first draft of a new Science Plan with a target date of January 2020; this draft will be posted on iodp.org for community comment. The core group will invite additional scientists to form a feedback group that will review the first draft and assess and incorporate community comments. Two iterations of this process are anticipated.