Evolution of modern science in Antarctica
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree LevelPostgraduate Certificate
Degree NamePostgraduate Certificate in Antarctic Studies
The objectives of the Heroic Age expeditions were driven by the continued wish of European countries to ‘plant their flag’ at the Pole, and although these expeditions saw the beginnings of Antarctic science these were just that compared with 21st century programmes; notable achievements through long sledging journeys were made. Immediately after the Heroic Age, the first cohesive long term planning of scientific work came with the Discovery Committee’s work. The Second World War years led to the establishment of the Antarctic’s first permanent bases, and the inception of the organisation which led to to-day’s British Antarctic Survey. The Commonwealth Trans-Antarctic Expedition 1955-58 made the first crossing of the Antarctic Continent and was the first major mechanised expedition; its primary objectives included scientific study across the continent, and it participated in the programmes of the International Geophysical Year 1957-58; and it was the last expedition that was, in part, funded by members of the public. Through this expedition and its wish to participate in the International Geophysical Year (IGY), New Zealand began its notable contribution to Antarctic science. This review covers the early scientific efforts of the nations involved in Antarctica up to the IGY, commenting on the scientific publications resulting, and relates this to to-day’s national Antarctic programmes.
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