SCAR Workshop – Auckland 2014

Workshop: for Humanities, Social Science, Scientists and Artists
Date: 26th August 2014, 18:15 (6:15PM) – 2 hours session

  • Title: Connecting the past – present – future: studies and methods in history for Antarctic research and science
  • Convener: Ursula Rack, New Zealand
    Co-convener: Andrew Atkin, Australia; Susan Solomon, USA

 This workshop is intended for humanities researcher, scientists, social scientists and artists who are interested in interdisciplinary research. Primary sources such as historical records, diaries, letters, reports, and oral and visual documents provide valuable data bases and contextual insights that enhance our knowledge and understanding of the Antarctic. Transcription, translation, and interpretation of these sorts of data by humanities researchers working in conjunction with scientists can provide valuable knowledge for both historians, and scientists.

For example, diaries contain information on weather, social interactions, medical conditions, and observations by expedition members on their long-duration expeditions. But much of this material is written within specific cultural contexts and the researcher has to be aware how to read and interpret this material, in order to draw valuable conclusions and also to understand the opportunities and limitations of such data sources. Scientific programmes today have benefited from the accounts of the past to interpret the present and better predict the future changes in the remote high Southern latitudes. In addition to written accounts and narratives, historical material contains valuable numerous data points (through direct observations and inference) which can be utilised by scientists, using modern software, to enhance existing data sets.

The workshop will explore ways in which historic material and modern digital communications can be incorporated into polar libraries and archives as resources for polar scientists and those working in the humanities.

For more information or to register for the SCAR OSC conference, visit