Summer 2019 – Note from the Research Board Chair

(From Summer 2019 Newsletter) Dr. Rita Colwell, University of Maryland and Johns Hopkins University

The Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI) Research Board is pleased to announce the release of Screenscope Film’s Dispatches from the Gulf 3, the third and final film in the Dispatches from the Gulf series.

In addition to sharing research highlights from the program, the film shares the story of how GoMRI was initiated after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The intent of GoMRI was to create an independent, collaborative research program to address complex questions arising after the spill. The proposal process was modeled after that of the National Science Foundation, and all data generated was to be made publicly available. Sharing results with the general public, educators, and those whose livelihoods depend on the Gulf, in addition to the scientific community through peer-reviewed publications, was prioritized. Now, almost ten years later, GoMRI achieved those objectives…and much more. GoMRI exemplifies the value of collaborative science and serves, successfully, as a model for the scientific research enterprise, notably at a time when funding for research is becoming severely constrained. GoMRI funding has made possible the education and training of more than 1,000 students. They will carry on the collaborative spirit and instill the legacies of GoMRI for generations to come. This makes me optimistic about the future.

The film also discusses important topics society will need to address: challenges faced by women in the sciences, concerns of the community about sources of funding to support oil spill research, and a deepening skepticism of science by society.

The Research Board and I thank Screenscope Films for partnering with us to share GoMRI research with a broader and global audience. The three films and accompanying supplemental materials, including a series of short videos, leave a much-appreciated story of the decade-long work of GoMRI and its thousands of participants and fans. I am deeply grateful to each and every member of the GoMRI community who participated in the films and shared their stories. I hope you enjoy the film.

[Back to the Summer 2019 Newsletter]