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SCAR’s mission is to advance Antarctic research, including observations from Antarctica, and to promote scientific knowledge, understanding and education on any aspect of the Antarctic region.  To this end, SCAR is charged with the initiation and international co-ordination of Antarctic and Southern Ocean research beneficial to global society.  One of the most effective ways to do this is to bring researchers together to share their latest results, discuss new ideas, and provide opportunities to develop new projects.

In 2004, SCAR expanded its biennial business meetings to include an Open Science Conference (OSC).  Since then, the OSC has been held every two years in various member countries around the world, bringing together hundreds of Antarctic researchers and decision makers to discuss current results and develop future projects.  In the years between OSCs, disciplinary science symposia are held. 

One of the largest areas of research in the Antarctic is biology and to help bring this community together, SCAR held its first Biology Symposium in 1962.  These were held irregularly at first, sometimes as a joint symposium with IUBS (the International Union of Biological Sciences) or other organisations.  Since 2001, the SCAR Biology Symposium has been held every four years.

The first symposium on Antarctic Geology was held in 1963 and initially these were held jointly with IUGS (International Union of Geological Sciences).  In 1982, this was broadened to cover Antarctic Earth Sciences and, since 1999, has been meeting every four years as the International Symposium on Antarctic Earth Sciences (ISAES).

The Humanities and Social Sciences groups hold meetings every year.  At the biennial OSC, they organise sessions and workshops.  In the intervening years, they hold their own workshops and conferences.

To learn more about all these meetings, click on the boxes below.