Scientific drilling



I was very pleased to read the support given to a new program of future scientific drilling on the President's Page of April 1978 EOS. There was, however, a matter which deeply concerned me and which was omitted in the discussion. Experience has shown that it is imperative to identify the science function as an intrinsic part of an enterprise such as this. Unless there is proper support for the scientific studies both on board ship and in the land laboratories, there will not be an adequate scientific return. It is very easy to place large efforts in the exploration and technical aspects without sufficient regard to the ‘post mission’ scientific work that must be done. This matter is particularly serious when the status of most research groups is severely limited by lack of funds for the construction and purchase of equipment and the lack of support for research and operating staff on a prolonged time basis. There is also some concern on my part for the long-time curation of the materials which are returned from deep-sea exploration. I am certain that Mr. Maxwell is sensitive to the importance of supporting and carrying out vigorous scientific researches as an inherent part of a new generation JOIDES project.