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With the withdrawal of industry support in the Ocean Margin Drilling Program (OMDP) (Eos, October 20, p. 705), a giant wave of uncertainty on the future of scientific ocean drilling swept over the oceanographic community. To steer the next decade's programs toward scientific objectives, the Conference on Scientific Ocean Drilling (COSOD) was held November 16–18 in Austin, Tex. The conference (scheduled before the industry decision) was sponsored by the Joint Oceanographic Institutions for Deep Earth Sampling (JOIDES), one of the principal operating arms of the Joint Oceanographic Institutions, Inc. (JOI).

‘A broad range of global scientific objectives were identified that require a worldwide drilling program for at least the next decade,’ Roger L. Larson, chairman of the COSOD Steering Committee, told Eos at the meeting's conclusion. ‘Many of these objectives can be accomplished with the presently available drill ship Glomar Challenger, but the extended capabilities of the Glomar Explorer are required to accomplish a large number of other objectives. Thus, it was the unanimous consensus of the conference attendees that Glomar Explorer was clearly the preferable vessel for future scientific ocean drilling.’