IRIS President David Simpson Reflects on IRIS’s Wide-Ranging Impacts and the Future

As IRIS President David Simpson approaches his retirement, he shared his perspective on what has contributed to IRIS’s success over the past three decades and what may lie ahead for the Consortium. In a presentation to about 150 attendees at the 2013 IRIS Annual Membership Meeting on December 9, Simpson focused on the IRIS mission and how the Consortium and its activities have had fundamental impacts throughout our science and community.

Simpson attributed IRIS’s structure of Community-governed, multi-user facilities, with open access to all resources, as the foundation of our success. While this rather unique model has served our observational-based science well, Simpson acknowledged that it does not fit the standard mold for traditional scientific facilities and is often misunderstood by other disciplines and funding agencies.

Despite the challenges being faced across all publicly-funded scientific programs and organizations, Simpson remains optimistic. The Consortium and its programs are strong and research in seismology remains exciting and productive. The IRIS Membership and our colleagues in the other geosciences must continue to demonstrate the relevance of our activities to society, show how our Community-governed facilities can enable transformational science, and seek out new sources of funding to help support the Consortium’s activities and goals.

Read the full transcript of Simpson’s remarks.