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Questions for the Horizon Scan

2nd Round - Community-wide Solicitation of Scientific Questions

What will the portfolio of international Antarctic and Southern Ocean science be in 2035?

This 2nd Round request for scientific questions encourages the community to take a few minutes to think about what is ideally attainable in the long-term, setting aside questions of resources and other barriers that may challenge a broader, imaginative scientific agenda for Antarctica and the Southern Ocean. If the community presents a clear vision of the future and how to get there, the necessary investments can be more convincingly argued for in the global competition of ideas. A coherent and compelling vision of where the community sees its future is critical for convincing those that control and allocate limited resources that this is a wise and justifiable investment that will tangibly addresses society-relevant needs and significantly advances human knowledge and understanding of the planet we live on.

This next step will embellish the question Round 1 database that will be considered by the assembled experts and visionaries at the Science Horizon Scan Retreat in 2014. Additional considerations beyond those described in the first round (see "What makes a compelling scientific question" below) are intended to focus this next and final round of scientific question solicitation on the more distant future.

What makes a compelling scientific question?

Characteristics of an ideal question include:

  • Posed as a question
  • Clearly worded
  • Simple and concise
  • Captures the essence of a complex idea
  • Addressable by a research programme
  • Highlights a long range goal
  • Requires substantial new knowledge
  • Fills a gap in current knowledge

In formulating futuristic-oriented questions, the organizers ask that you review the questions submitted during the 1st Round (unedited) in your area of expertise or interests (available at

2nd Round scientific questions should be those that:

  1. will not realistically be addressed in the short-term (the next ten years),
  2. are reasonable extrapolations from current knowledge or knowledge likely to be obtained in the short-term (the next ten years),
  3. address issues or processes that require sustained efforts and/or observations for more than a decade,
  4. take into account what a rapidly changing planet will look like in 2035, and/or
  5. will require new technologies currently under-development that may be available in the next decade or so.

To use a well-worn phrase, the community is asked to "think-out-of-the-box" and pose questions that stretch the imagination and suggest emerging frontiers that potentially be addressed by the next generation of scientists and researchers in 2035!

Please, do not repeat scientific questions submitted in Round 1!

Completing the form

It is estimated that it will take you 2 to 3 minutes to fill out this form.

Submitters are encouraged to develop questions and descriptions offline and cut and paste to avoid the page timing out. You may use the 'Back' and 'Next' buttons at the end of each page to check your submission and amend any details. Once you have clicked the 'Submit' button on the last page, it will no longer be possible to edit the details.

This second round solicitation is extended until ***Friday, October 18th 2013***