We are now only a month away from Polar2018 (www.polar2018.org).
The meeting offers an extraordinary opportunity to explore polar research jointly from the Arctic and Antarctic perspectives. How the Polar Regions will change, what the global consequences of their change will be, and how local ecosystems and people will be affected, are profoundly important questions. The meeting will enable these and other fundamental research questions to be discussed in an interdisciplinary setting.
At Polar2018 we will also formally celebrate SCAR’s 60th Anniversary.
On Monday 18th June in the early evening, we will hold an Open Celebration to mark SCAR’s 60th anniversary. A small panel of SCAR-affiliated researchers will introduce the evening’s activities and we will then celebrate 60 years of science facilitation and advice.
On Wednesday 20th June, SCAR and the journals Nature and Nature Communications will hold a panel discussion and Q&A session entitled Polar Change and the Future of Society. The discussion will include an opening video message from HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco, and a short presentation on ‘Choosing the Future of Antarctica’ by Steve Rintoul. It will take place between 18h30 and 20h00 and will be limited to 300 participants.
Details for both events will become available shortly, including an indication of how to register interest in the panel discussion.
Several helpful discussions are also taking place about the new suite of SCAR Scientific Research Programs (SRPs) that will commence in 2020. These have all been locally organised, such as the one by the United States Polar Research Board, and those at meetings I have attended in several countries. At Polar2018, community discussions open to all SCAR members will also be held, such as the SCAR-PAIS Futures meeting to be held on Wednesday 20th June (12.20 – 14.00).
Both in a previous View from the South, and on other occasions, such as at SCAR’s 60th Anniversary celebratory lunch at the XLI Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting (https://www.scar.org/general-scar-news/60th-atcm/), I have indicated that there is much opportunity to develop substantial support for large interdisciplinary SRPs. Enthusiasm for these is growing in the community.
Most prominent among the ideas, and reflecting the SCAR Antarctic and Southern Ocean Horizon Scan outcomes (https://www.scar.org/about-us/horizon-scan/overview/), are: (i) understanding the biodiversity and functioning of marine and terrestrial biological systems and how to protect them; (ii) understanding ocean-cryosphere-atmosphere interactions, the behaviour of ice sheets and global sea level variation.
Polar2018 will provide a truly exceptional opportunity to discuss polar research and shape its future. I look forward to seeing you all in Davos in a month’s time.