Elzinga is Professor Emeritus at Gothenburg University. With a background in physics and ltar history and philosophy of science, he became interested in the role of science in Antarctica. One of his early publications is the edited volume, Changing Trends in Antarctic Research (1993). He participated in a Swedish expedition to Antarctica in the austral season 1997/98. He introduced the thesis that the International Geophysical Year (IGY 1957/58) and the political regime that followed upon it (i.e., the Antarctic Treaty System) was marked by geopolitical rivalry, no longer in the form of imperialist conflict but by translation of national political agendas into scientific competition and cooperation between participant countries, a "sublimation of politics in science". Thus one can speak of the construction of Antarctica as a continent by and for science. In connection with the Fourth International Polar Year (2007–2009) he worked on the history of the four international polar years to highlight changing foci, conditions of research, logistics and epistemological characteristics. Recent contributions are to the anthologies by Roberts P. et al. 2016, Antarctica and the Humanities and Dodds K. et al. 2017, Handbook on the Politics of Antarctica.
Research projects / interests:
- history and politics of Antarctic science
- the role of the humanities
- history of SCAR
Keywords: research policy, history of Antarctic science.