The Deep Carbon Observatory is actively seeking to build new scientific collaborations and partnerships worldwide to advance global knowledge of the deep carbon cycle. To that end, the DCO Executive Committee invited a broad range of guest speakers to its meeting at the Royal Society in London on 19-20 September 2013.
The Royal Society played host to the DCO Executive Committee and invited guests for two days of lively, collaborative talks and discussion. Developing and maintaining both stable financial and prolific scientific connections around the world is a central part of DCO’s mission. Chris Ballentine (University of Oxford, England) shared with the Executive Committee details of Europe’s Roadmap for Earth Sciences, which emphasizes several areas of research of interest to deep carbon scientists including Earth Dynamics, Natural Resources, and Natural Hazards and Risks. He also talked about Horizon 2020, which is focused on integrating and opening scientific infrastructure throughout Europe. Tamsin Mather (University of Oxford, England) continued this theme with a discussion of the recently approved Theme Action Plan entitled “Volatiles, Geodynamics and Solid Earth Controls on the Habitable Planet,” from the National Environmental Research Council (UK), which will provide £8 million over the next 5 years for DCO-related research in the UK.
Claire Cousins (University of Edinburgh, Scotland) talked to the group about her recent DCO-funded field trip to Disko Island, Greenland, where her team conducted exploratory work on the potential for further expeditions to this geologically unique site. As a researcher at the UK Centre for Astrobiology, she also highlighted potential areas for DCO collaboration. Max Coleman (JPL/CalTech, USA) continued the theme of astrobiological research with his talk focused on his recent cruise onboard the R/V Falkor and associated research and results. And Michael Bickle (University of Cambridge, England) gave a scientific presentation to the committee about his work in the field of metamorphic carbon fluxes.
David Teagle (University of Southampton, England) spoke about the MoHole to Mantle project, with particular focus on the unique advantages of the Japanese Chikyu research vessel and deep ocean drilling rig. Several meeting reports were also delivered, with DCO’s Chris Ballentine having been heavily involved with the organization of this summer’s highly successful Goldschmidt conference in Florence, Italy. Isabelle Daniel and Adrian Jones provided feedback on the Bioreactor Sandpit (which took place in Veyrier-du-Lac, France) and the Volcanic Gas Monitoring Sandpit (Etna, Italy) respectively. Funding decisions from these Sandpit workshops will be announced in the coming weeks.
David White, Schlumberger, provided insight into developing fruitful partnerships with the oil and gas industry, and Edmund Nickless, Executive Secretary of the Geological Society of London, presented the perspective of the scholarly society. Representatives from the journals PLOS (Damian Pattinson) and Elementa (Clare Dean) led a discussion about open access publication prospects in Earth Sciences.
Additional sessions allowed significant discussion amongst the committee. Industry partnerships and international funding opportunities were topics under intense consideration and planning. The committee also found time to engage in exciting cross-community scientific discussion in the true spirit of the meeting.
DCO Executive Committee members who arrived in London on 18 September were treated to a visit to the Gemological Institute of America, where scientists met with diamond industry professionals. This excursion was followed by a reception at the Geological Society of London, with a rare opportunity to view William Smith’s geological map of “England and Wales with part of Scotland”, which was published in 1815 and introduced to the group by Edmund Nickless.
A reception was also held at the Royal Society, with invited guests attending from academic institutions, the private sector, and several media outlets. Thanks were issued to the group by the event organizer, Adrian Jones of University College London, and by DCO Executive Committee members Jesse Ausubel and Craig Schiffries. The next meeting of the Executive Committee will take place in March 2014.
Back row left to right: Claude Jaupert, Peter Fox, Dave Cole, John Barross, Bernard Marty, Craig Schiffries, Craig Manning, Jesse Ausubel, Katie Pratt
Front row left to right: Jon Fellowes, Mitch Sogin, Adrian Jones, Isabelle Daniel, Max Coleman, Sara Hickox, Andrea Mangum