Contents of an e-mail (dated Jan. 28 2005) from Dr J. C. Ellis-Evans
IPY Programme Office, Cambridge

Hi Everyone

This is to pass you information on the First Open Consultative Forum for IPY and to update you on some of what has been happening in IPY.

The Open Consultative Forum is open to all with an interest in IPY 2007-2008 and is a mechanism to allow stakeholders to interact directly with the IPY Joint Committee and amongst themselves. The previous Discussion Forums made substantial contributions to the recently published IPY Framework document and it is hoped that the OCF will build on this success.

We have arranged use of a large conference room in the IOC Headquarters which are housed in the UNESCO Building, 1, rue Miollis, 75015 Paris, France. The IOC website is at On this site go to CONTACT, PARIS OFFICE and then click the map hyperlink to locate the UNESCO building. I will be informing the UNESCO Security to expect a large number of visitors for the Open Consultative Forum. I anticipate the meeting starting at around 0900 each day and it will probably finish mid-afternoon on the 11th, judging from previous forum meetings. There will be a digital projector and OHP available.

As before, ICSU/WMO will provide the venue and administrative support but participants will need to cover their own travel and accomodation. Attached is a list of nearby hotels provided by IOC - Note that the prices are for 2002 . If you intend to participate please inform me so I can get an idea of numbers.

We hope to have an agenda organised in the next two weeks. Coming immediately after the Joint Committee meeting the OCF will get a first hand report of that meeting. However, this is the stakeholders meeting so if there are items you wish to see raised please pass them to me. One already recognised is the interaction of ACIA / ICARP planning with that of IPY, another would be revisiting Data / Information and Education / Outreach / Communication issues. We will also have the results of the Expression of Intent exercise available for comment.

The Expression of Intent exercise resulted in around 1000 submissions by the Jan 14 deadline and these are being placed in an ACCESS database to facilitate searches. I hope to put up on the IPY website before Feb 4 a list (contact name and EoI title) of all the EoI's we have in the database and, soon after, a searchable database on the site should be accessible through a web browser.

The Joint Committee at their meeting will be examining the Expressions of Intent in terms of how well each matches the IPY criteria - it is this assessment that will gain proposals an IPY approval (confirmed after the June submission) and hopefully assist the proposal in winning funding from national / international funding agencies. The JC will also be considering how the next stage of the proposal process (the full submission in June 2005) will be operated. It certainly will not involve full research proposals of the kind one would submit to a funding agency. A more likely scenario is that proposals will be expected to produce a fuller version of the EoI that addresses issues such as management structure, logistic requirements, data handling and communication in more detail.

The EoI exercise was established primarily to draw out information on significant logistic requirements as polar operators need this information by First Quarter of 2005. Future project submissions are likely to be made only as full submissions. The June deadline for full versions of the EoI's could well be also used for a round of further new submissions. The JC is yet to discuss this but the Planning Group envisaged more than one full submission date so I would anticipate that the JC will follow this line.

The JC is currently considering the membership of a Data Policy Sub-Committee and an Education, Outreach & Communication Sub-Committee. These committees will assist the JC in formulating its strategy for these important areas and implementing various elements alongside national committees and dedicated projects. It is hoped to start up these groups in the near future.