Historians, geo-scientists, public policy scholars, government officials, and the interested public are invited to this NSF-supported conference at the Smithsonian Institution. The conferenced examines the impetus for (and the impact upon) science, society, and culture of the International Polar Years (IPYs) of 1882-83 and 1932-33, and the International Geophysical Year of 1957-58, as well as how historical perspectives might be useful for those involved in the current IPY in 2007-2008.
Speakers will explore the origins of these efforts, their political dimensions, and their consequences. Themes will include the place of the poles in human imagination, discipline formation, cultural nationalism, politics, and trans-nationality; the emergence of the modern geosciences; the uses of new technologies to explore the poles; changing assessments of the nature of human cultures in high latitudes; and polar contributions to environmental awareness.
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