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SCAR XXXIII WP17: Report from the SCAR History Group
XXXIII SCAR Delegates Meeting
1 - 3 September 2014, Auckland, New Zealand

SCAR XXXIII WP17: Report from the SCAR History Group

Working Paper: 17
Agenda Item: 4.4.2
Posted/Revised: 23 Jul 2014
Person Responsible: C. Lüdecke

Executive Summary

Title: History Expert Group

Authors: Cornelia Lüdecke

Introduction/ Background:

The Expert Group was founded as an Action Group in 2004. Since the first workshop in Germany in 2005 the Group has flourished and membership of the Expert Group has steadily increased, as has the geographical and disciplinary diversity of the participants. The Group’s meetings continue to serve as a valuable discussion space for junior and senior members alike. Meetings have been held across four continents (Africa, Europe, North America, South America), permitting the core group of academic historians to be joined by local researchers who would likely not otherwise have joined the Group. The SCAR Expert Group provides a unique and irreplaceable site for scholars to exchange ideas and develop historical research related to the Antarctic. Collaborative research projects undertaken by some of the group members demonstrate the group’s dynamism.

Important Issues or Factors:

The History EG and the Social Sciences AG organized a first joint workshop on „The past, present and future of human connections to the Antarctic“ at the British Antarctic Survey in Cambridge (UK) from 1-5 July 2013. 52 participants from 16 countries presented the results of their recent research in 39 oral papers. The workshop was very successful and both groups shared their ideas during the discussions, which unveiled a remarkable overlap in historical and social aspects of Antarctic research. In the end the participants suggested to continue with these joint workshops.

Additionally, Cornelia Lüdecke represented the History EG at the SCAR Antarctic and Southern Ocean Horizon Scan from 20-23 April 2014 in Queenstown (New Zealand).

Recommendations/Actions and Justification:

We wish to continue the SCAR History Expert Group in its current form and to continue our collaboration with Social Sciences Action Group.

Expected Benefits/Outcomes: 

The current high level of publications by Group members will continue, both individually and through collective forums such as special journal issues and a planned edited volume on “Antarctica – A Continent for the Humanities”, edited by three members of the History Expert Group.


The SCAR Social Sciences Action Group as well as the history group of the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC).

Budget Implications:

US$ 5.000 as support of the next for travel support for PhD students and scholars of low income.