Today, the U.S. Antarctic Program Blue Ribbon Panel released its final report, More and Better Science in Antarctica through Increased Logistical Effectiveness. The report reviews U.S. science support operations in Antarctica and the Southern Ocean and discusses recommendations for increased logistical effectiveness to support science research. It was requested by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and the National Science Foundation (NSF).
In response, Ranking Member Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) said the following:
"I want to express my thanks to each member of the Blue Ribbon Panel for their hard work and dedication in preparing this thoughtful assessment. I also want to congratulate NSF for the superb job they have been doing in managing logistics and infrastructure in Antarctica, as recognized by the Blue Ribbon Panel.
Scientific research in Antarctica is carried out across many disciplines, including astronomy, astrophysics, biology, earth science, environmental science, geology, marine biology, and geophysics. This ground-breaking research is essential, especially in improving our understanding of climate change. It provides insights into ice sheets, the atmosphere, oceans, and solid earth, all of which further our understanding of changes in the global system. In a response to the report's authors, the U.S. State Department wrote of the "critical national security, foreign policy, and scientific interests in Antarctica,' and emphasized the importance of U.S. presence and leadership in Antarctica. Antarctica has also long served as an important focus of international scientific collaboration and cooperation. I look forward to working with NSF and my Congressional colleagues to consider the recommendations in the report and to ensure that the U.S. makes the best possible use of its resources in Antarctica so that our scientists can accomplish as much as possible."