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SCAR XXXVI Paper 16: Report of Standing Committee on Humanities and Social Sciences (SC-HASS) Popular

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SCAR XXXVI Paper 16: Report of Standing Committee on Humanities and Social Sciences (SC-HASS)

SCAR XXXVI Delegates Meeting, Online, 16-25 March 2021

SCAR XXXVI Paper 16: Report of Standing Committee on Humanities and Social Sciences (SC-HASS)

Agenda Item: 9.1
Person Responsible: Daniela Liggett

Authors: Elizabeth Leane (University of Tasmania, Australia), Daniela Liggett (University of Canterbury, New Zealand), Cornelia Lüdecke (University of Hamburg, Germany), Peder Roberts (KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden)

Summary of activities from 2018-20

After its formation at the Delegates Meeting in 2018 (drawing on the merged HASSEG and History EG groups), SC-HASS has been led by three Chief Officers, with seven other representatives forming a 10-person steering committee. Dr Alan Hemmings stood down in mid-2020, and Associate Professor Alejandra Mancilla agreed to join the steering committee. Prof Dr Cornelia Lüdecke has retired from her university position in 2020 but has agreed to remain as a Chief Officer to ensure continuity until an election can be held for her replacement. The Chief Officers have co-opted Associate Professor Peder Roberts to assist with administrative tasks on an ad hoc basis to ensure that the work of the Group continues smoothly.
We have approved four Action Groups, two of which have been active over 2018-2020 – the AG on Intrinsic Values in Antarctica (AGIVA) and the AG on Resilience and the Future of Science-based Decision-making for Antarctica (PolSciNex). The AG on Environing Antarctica: perspectives from history, social sciences and the humanities on managing and assessing Antarctic environments (EN-AQ) and Public Engagement with Antarctic Science AG both plan to begin activities in 2021.

In April 2019, we held the first official SC-HASS biennial conference in Ushuaia, Argentina. 130 delegates (106 presenters, including 40 students/unwaged) attended. Twenty-seven travel bursaries of up to USD$500 were awarded to support researchers from non-traditional SCAR states or early-career researchers. The PolSciNex AG and AGIVA organized individual sessions at the conference. A special issue of The Polar Journal with the theme “Latin America and Antarctica” was published from the conference in December 2019. Seven SC-HASS-related sessions were planned for SCAR COMNAP 2020, and at least two of these are likely to run as online sessions. The SC-HASS Business Meeting will be held online in August 2020.

After the onset COVID-19 pandemic, a diverse group of 25-30 researchers within SC-HASS, led by Chief Officer Daniela Liggett, was organized to study the impact of the pandemic on Antarctic research and the Antarctic sector more generally, with the aim of producing a report of SCAR and a series of academic papers.