Opinion: When the wells run dry

The practice and funding of science may change drastically when humanity enters an era of energy crisis, in which cheap oil is but a distant memory

John Day
Feb 15, 2011
It's 2029. You are ready to present your latest data at a major international conference in Paris. You're nervous, but prepared. In the past, attending such a conference would have meant boarding a plane, accompanied by a grad student or post doc, with whom you'd also likely enjoy the cafes and museums of Paris, perhaps making a day trip to visit Monet's gardens in Giverny. But those days are over. You will be attending the conference and making your presentation from your office computer because high fuel prices have made air travel unaffordable for all except the elite.
Image: Wikimedia commons
Your research program has also been circumscribed. Two decades ago, you had a far flung program with international projects, exploring basic biological principles. Now your research, close to home and on a shoe string budget, addresses topics strongly influenced by direct needs of society. All of these changes were...
thReferencesBioScienceAmerican Scientistlinkurl:John Day;http://f1000.com/thefaculty/member/2925071722511606 is a Professor Emeritus in the department of Oceanography and Coastal Sciences at the School of the Coast and Environment, Louisiana State University, and an F1000 member since 2010.



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