interest for a few individuals from a few institutions to design these large programs that are targeted only to a few institutions.''
"Yes. However it has also hurt the core programs of NSF and has therefore cut down on creative, innovative research and thinking."†
"In a simple answer—I do not think so. These major projects, while adding to our understanding of various processes and ocean regimes, have not provided conclusions or new underlying concepts (the TOPEX project1 being one of the few exceptions). An example of this is the JGOFS project that to this day cannot provide numbers for net primary productivity! One general reason for this is a shortfall in the degree of collaboration to make these programs successful."
"It seems one of the major accomplishments of the projects has been an increase in the amount of observations available for analysis. I'm not aware of major conceptual breakthroughs associated with the programs, but I've not made an effort to keep up with them, and it also seems most have had little time for synthesis, except ODP, which I believe has been a great success."
"In general, yes, but I believe the cost far outweighed the success. For JGOFS for example, we have gone to lots of different oceans, but how good are the CO2 budgets when they don't adequately provide information on the impact of episodic events which account for a disproportionate share of total ocean productivity. A lot of the program was the same major groups going to lots of different oceans for a few transacts."
"I think they have led to expanded data sets over large spatial areas, but I tend to only notice major scientific advances which are concisely demonstrated, usually in individual papers. The understanding of the oceans gained from the large programs is too dilute to put my finger on."
"Absolutely. In fact, I don't believe that given the tight funding constraints which characterize the current grant climate that it would be possible to conduct risky, expensive experiments without these large programs. The peer review system is too conservative to promote such research without the large programs."†
"There is no doubt that collaborative efforts and large programs are required to answer some questions. However, the increase in our knowledge should be judged against the cost of the program and significance of the questions posed; in other words., is it worthwhile to fund scientists to make what in many cases are routine measurements, if the overarching questions are not compelling? Too often the research is not hypothesis-driven and the contributions of many participating principal investigators are unequal."
Question: Have major oceanographic programs provided additional facilities or instrumentation (or methods) that you would use in your research?
"Yes. The funding of oceanographic vessels is an area that in my opinion is very relevant. I am not so familiar with analytical facilities funded by programs