The issue of the sharing of scientific findings is discussed in the July 27 in a Washington Post opinion piece titled Research on gulf oil spill shouldn’t take a backseat to litigation. Plus the article raises a new topic, that of the need for a comprehensive and strategic look at the research needed for such a major disaster event; I would argue both hard science and social science research should be included in such a comprehensive plan.
Our nation needs a comprehensive science plan to learn from and respond better to this tragedy. Those working in academia, federal and state government, nongovernmental organizations, and industry need to be consulted and included. The federal government must also make funding available, apart from the NRDA process, to enable independent, peer-reviewed science to be undertaken.
Also related to the topic is a recent statement by the American Assoc. of University Professors regard BP’s impact on academic freedom following the Gulf oil spill. See attached file titled ACADEMIC FREEDOM. One quote from that statement follows:
Perhaps this is the time to reexamine the increasing role corporations are playing in funding and controlling university research. Universities should work with faculty to set ethical standards for industry collaboration that champion the public interest and discourage faculty members from selling their freedom of speech and research to the highest bidder.
Thanks to Bill Cumming for bringing this statement to my attention. It is a timely addition to the topic discussed in today’s post.
CNN has posted an interesting summary of the effects, on the 100 day anniversary of the spill. See this article. And CNN also has posted some dramatic graphics of the spill since day 1.
When it became evident that the gulf oil spill was a major disaster and previous methods for sealing the leak were questionable, the call went out for new concepts and technical help to stop the leak.
I, as well as many others, stepped forward with advanced technological concepts that were, unfortunately, either totally ignored by BP or put into a continuous cycle of requests for additional information. Furthermore, proposed government funding is presently unavailable.
Promised funding for such projects may someday be available, but as for now it seems to be a waiting game. Waiting is a very dangerous game to play considering that currently there is no method of stopping a deep-well oil leak in a timely manner. After witnessing the deep horizon event, we may as well consider every existing offshore well a potential time bomb just waiting to blow.
Trusting either the oil firms or assigned regulatory agencies to maintain drilling safety on a consistent basis is a grievous and costly error. The only future defense we will have is to apply new technology in a rapid-response manner and minimize overall damage. That is the sole purpose of the system called EMOPP or “Electro Magnetic Oil Pipe Plugger” which has been specifically designed to totally seal major deep-well spills within days and not months.
There will, of course, be a period of time when oil firms think twice about cost-saving factors that can create safety hazards. The politicians will voice their opinions through added legislation and agree “Never Again”. The regulators will then rededicate themselves to following even-stronger guidelines.
Unfortunately, history has shown that in spite of good intentions we usually go back to “business as usual”.
This 70 year old former Marine / Design Engineer / Inventor would like to know how many times must we hit the same tripwire before we can honestly say….
“WE GET IT !”
Do you have a list of the sponsored research projects? I’d love to know who’s funding what projects. And lets see some social science on this!
Agreed that social scientists should be involved. I will check with NSF to see if they have funding available.
If the feds and academics don’t do the research it is certain the oil exploration and drilling industry will not do it. Evidence–the past 100 years of nonfeasance on reasearch on spills.