The value of Antarctic research
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree LevelPostgraduate Certificate
Degree NamePostgraduate Certificate in Antarctic Studies
This report examines the value of Antarctic research from several different perspectives. The values of those working in Antarctica are considered, as is the value of Antarctica itself. Antarctica is seen to be one of the last wilderness areas of the world. This alone gives Antarctica intrinsic value. The importance that this ecosystem has to the rest of the planet, as a driver of sea currents and atmosphere, gives Antarctica a high value to all peoples of the world, especially to the scientists who conduct research there. The values of all the stakeholders involved in Antarctic research are important to consider, as they motivate the actions of the future. A further perspective of the value of Antarctic research can be given by assessing the research achieved. Although existing metrics have known flaws to consider, assessment of Antarctic research has provided valuable information on trends in research, the productivity of different researchers, organizations, and countries, and influence within the Antarctic Treaty System, (ATS). New measures of assessing research can help broaden the scope of impact, and lead to greater recognition of the value of the overall intellectual contribution of Antarctic research. As there are a large range of stakeholders who have an influence on Antarctic research, it is important to examine how each different set of values plays out in an Antarctic context. The values which stakeholders hold influence governance decisions as well as defining the focus of Antarctic research. They are therefore important to consider. Because of the large number of stakeholders and the values at play, the whole system is dynamic. This report also looks at the political worth and economic value of Antarctic research. Science and collaboration are the currency of diplomacy in Antarctica. They serve New Zealand’s and many other governments’ aims well. Especially for small nations, working within an effective rules-based system such as the ATS is the best way of influencing others. The main economic value added of Antarctic science generally is likely to be through helping to minimise the impacts of climate and other human-induced global environmental changes. Marine resources and tourism are also significant but mining land-based minerals is unlikely while the ATS and its Protocols remain in force.
- Syndicate Reports