I gave a presentation to the U3A Ashburton today. Over 80 members were present. The topic was on “Social History in the Antarctic” and it was a really great response from the audience. Some even came forward to tell about there family connections with Antarctica. It was a great event.
Living in the tent at the Drygalski expedition 1901-1903
This year I was in the privileged position to deliver 4 lectures in Antarctic History for the ANTA 102 lectures series. Because of the 4th lecture I could go into more detail in social history and history of science. The best opportunity was, however, that I could present the political context to the expeditions which were undertaken from the 1920s on. This part of Polar History has still lots to offer in terms of research. My focus is often the not so well known expeditions during the Heroic Era (e.g.: German, Swedish, Scottish, French expeditions). The political and economic changes after World War One and World War Two brought new challenges to Antarctic research. In the 1950s a new issue appeared: space travel. Antarctic research and space research competed in gathering funding and the big organisations like NASA were developing. Climate Change brought the Antarctic (and Arctic) into focus again and now the Antarctic is often used as a place for field training and to test material for outer space events.
Showing a new direction 🙂