Over the past month, the Census of Marine Life Program Office has continued disseminating the results and conclusions of the 10-year program and began building community support for a follow-on marine biodiversity research initiative. As part of the final evaluation process, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, a primary funder of the Census, contacted Professor David Penman (formerly Chair of the Governing Board of the Global Biodiversity Information Facility) to undertake an external, independent review of the performance of the Census of Marine Life. Dr. Penman’s task was not intended to be a review of the impact of the science per se, but of how scientists can work together as well as the factors that help or impede such large scale collaborative efforts.
Dr. Penman will hold a briefing to present his findings about lessons learned from the Census of Marine Life as a model for design and governance of future large-scale collaborative science projects at the Consortium for Ocean Leadership offices on May 19 from 9:00-10:30 a.m. His presentation will review what worked, what didn’t work and identify areas that could have been improved upon. Among the topics he will cover are specific recommendations for governance roles and responsibilities, the critical role of a program office, the value of data sharing and challenges of data assimilation, tools for coordination and collaboration and the role of public awareness in a program’s overall success. The briefing on May 19 is open to the public but please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org by May 13 if you plan to attend.