The inaugural International Ocean Research Conference (IORC) was held in June 2005, when the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO (IOC-UNESCO), together with The Oceanography Society (TOS), brought attendees together to discuss expected developments in marine sciences in the next decade. The 2nd IORC held in Barcelona, Spain, November 17–21, 2014, likewise brought together ocean scientists from across the globe to assess the current state of ocean knowledge and to discuss future ocean challenges. The conference had an interdisciplinary focus, encompassing oceanographic, social science, and economic perspectives on ocean research. The three main topics of the conference were:
• Building scientific knowledge
• Applying knowledge for societal benefit
• Improving governance and building capacities
Thematic sessions on each topic addressed current and anticipated changes in ocean science. In addition to the thematic sessions, the conference included a number of workshops and panel discussions intended to support the conference thematic sessions (see http://www.iocunesco-oneplantoneocean.fnob.org). The 2nd IORC demonstrated the breadth and global impact of ocean research and its exciting contributions to new knowledge on pressing societal issues, including climate change, ocean governance, and capacity building.
Approximately 650 scientists from over 75 countries attended the conference. There were 450 posters and talks—an excellent indication of how dynamic our field is and the high quality of the oceanographic research that is being done all over the world. TOS will be producing an electronic supplement that includes synthesis papers from the conference plenary talks, sessions, and workshop.
The 2nd IORC was supported by the IOC, TOS, and the Fundació Navegació Oceànica Barcelona.
— Mike Roman and Luis Valdes, Conference Co-Chairs