ERIC Number: EJ730675
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004
Reference Count: N/A
The International Geophysical Year in Antarctica: Uncommon Collaborations, Unprecedented Results
Belanger, Dian Olson
Journal of Government Information, v30 n4 p482-489 2004
When 1 July 1957 ''dawned'' in the dark of the south polar night, Americans at seven scientific stations scattered across Antarctica officially began systematic, synoptic observations of the air above and ice below. Joining scientists from 11 other countries on the polar continent, they were part of the International Geophysical Year, an 18-month worldwide effort to understand the earth and its environment. The Navy and other military services provided the transportation, construction, and maintenance to make life and work possible on the ice. The scientific success and value of the IGY inspired a mechanism--the Antarctic Treaty of 1959--for a peaceful future focused on the cooperative pursuit of scientific knowledge. While imperfect and fragile, the treaty is still in force and, with continuing military and civilian support, scientific research in Antarctica prospers. All this was achieved in a remarkably short time, by disparate, thinly acquainted, mutually wary cultures--military, scientific, and diplomatic. All the more astonishing is that it happened within the tense context of the Cold War, as statesmen and warriors were wise enough to allow ''apolitical'' scientists to lead where they could not.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Antarctica