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XXXI SCAR Delegates Meeting
9-11 August 2010, Buenos Aires, Argentina

SCAR XXXI WP28: Report of SCAR History Group

Working Paper 28
Agenda Item: 10.1
Posted/Revised: May 15
Person Responsible: Ludecke

Executive Summary

Title: Report of the SCAR History Action Group 2009-2010

Authors: Cornelia Lüdecke

Relevant URLs or references to other reports:

Introduction/ Background:

In 2010 the SCAR History Action Group is organizing two meetings. Firstly, 15 oral papers and 11 posters have been submitted for the bipolar session on “History of polar exploration, cooperation, research and logistics“ during the IPY Oslo Science Conference (8-12 June 2010). One objective of this session is to broaden the scope of these history sessions to include historians of Arctic as well as Antarctic polar research. Secondly, for the SCAR OSC in Buenos Aires (3-6 August 2010) we have organized a 6th workshop (session 49) on "History of Antarctica and scientific research". During 2009, the SCAR History AG held a very successful 5th workshop, on “History of International Spaces”, during the Antarctic Treaty Summit (ATS50) in Washington DC (December 3rd, 2009) with twelve speakers representing six nations. In addition, two papers from the 4th workshop, the history session at the XXX SCAR meeting (St. Petersburg, 2008), were published in Polar Record (2009), and the proceedings of the 2nd SCAR history workshop (Santiago, 2006) were published by the Chilean Antarctic Institute (see


The proceedings of the 3rd history workshop (Columbus, Ohio, 2007) will be published as an electronic version by the Byrd Polar Research Institute in 2010.

Important Issues or Factors: The SCAR History AG is already well recognized in the Antarctic community as can be seen by the invitation to organize the 5th workshop within the framework of the ATS 50, where the AG chair, Cornelia Lüdecke, was asked to give the historical paper during the first plenary session and to take part in the following panel discussion.

Recommendations/Actions and Justification: We recommend that the Action Group be upgraded to an Expert Group, because the activities are ongoing rather than limited to a short time. A primary aim is to intensify collaboration with IGY veterans, senior polar experts, young scientists, and PhD students (APECS) in the field of history of polar research, and to include as many different nations as possible. Until now we had 59 presentations from participants representing 12 nations.

In the future we plan to include bipolar topics, because many polar researchers had their first polar experiences in the Arctic (e,g, Ross, Filchner).

Expected Benefits/Outcomes: Annual workshops and ensuing publications serve as public outreach for SCAR, for example as shown during the ATS 50.

Partners: Historians of Arctic research / members of IASC.

Budget Implications: $3000 for continuing as an AG; $5000 for continuing as an EG.