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The original aim of the History Action Group was to obtain insight into the development of how Antarctic research was institutionalized within SCAR. The goal was to study to what degree research in the Antarctic has been driven by scientific criteria and to what extent compromises were made in the light of political barriers and logistical limitations. It is the only existing group offering the unique opportunity of sharing archival work referring to Antarctic history with personal experiences of polar researchers from all continents. The group has held many workshops and its work has contributed directly to the work of several PhD students. The History Group plans to increase collaboration in terms of involving more nations and increasing participation of students and early career historians.

To honour the work in history of polar research a speaker is chosen each year to give the Lewander Lecture during a workshop of conference.

Criteria for the selection of oral presentations during meetings

  1. The paper must conform to the session description.
  2. The paper must represent a novel contribution (for example new findings, sources, topics, methods or study areas) and be of a high academic standard.
  3. If criteria (1) and (2) are both met, further criteria regarding speakers will be applied:
    1. Age and previous experience. Early career scholars and those who have not previously taken part in a SCAR Open Science Conference should be given priority for an oral presentation.
    2. Gender. Female speakers must be represented.
    3. Language. Speakers from non-native English speaking countries must be represented.
  4. Applications for oral submissions that meet the eligibility criteria but cannot be accommodated in the main program will be offered a poster slot."

Terms of Reference

The Expert Group will continue to act as a meeting place for scholars working on the history of the Antarctic from diverse perspectives, with an overt focus on involving junior scholars and fostering collaboration among Group members. The Expert Group’s meetings will also help facilitate the sharing of research materials, including newly-collected oral histories and newly-released archival sources. The geographical diversity of the Group’s membership will permit material from around the globe to be accessed, from North and South America to Africa, Australasia, Europe (eastern and western) and Russia.