Making Science Global:
Reconsidering the Social and Intellectual Implications of the
International Polar and Geophysical Years
October 31-November 1, 2007
S. Dillon Ripley Center
Metro to Smithsonian or L'Enfant Plaza
1100 Jefferson Drive, S.W.
This NSF-supported conference 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. The final session of the conference, "Polar History: Perspectives on Globalization in the Geosciences," will be the plenary session of the annual meeting of the History of Science Society, held this year at the Marriott Crystal Gateway.
Wednesday, October 31
Session 1 - 9:00-11:30 AM
Polar History in the 19th Century:
(Introduction and Welcome):
Christopher Carter, Independent Scholar, "Polar Politics: Negotiating Geoscience on an International Stage";
Cornelia Lüdecke, University of Hamburg, "Approaching the Southern Hemisphere: The German Pathway in the 19th Century";
Marc Rothenberg, National Science Foundation, "Placing the First International Polar Year in Its Context: Collaboration, and Risk in Nineteenth-Century Science";
Philip N. Cronenwett, Dartmouth College, "Publishing Arctic Science in the Nineteenth Century: The Case of the First International Polar Year";
Noel D. Broadbent, National Museum of Natural History, "Historic Archaeology and a History of Polar Flight"
Session 2 - 2:00-4:30 PM
The Emergence of Global Science: From the IPYs to the IGY:
Gregory A. Good, West Virginia University, "Sydney Chapman: The IGY Behind the Scenes and Before the Public";
Roger Turner, University of Pennsylvania, "The Spitsbergen School: Polar Aviation and Geophysical Meteorology between World War I and World War II";
William R. Stevenson III, University of Hawaii at Manoa, "The Polar Years and Japan";
James Fleming, Colby College, "Making Meteorology Global: Polar Weather and Climate Research in the Career of Harry Wexler, 1933-1962.";
Dian Belanger, Independent Scholar, "The IGY in Antarctica: 'Apolitical' Science, Political Needs, and Peace -- thoughts from Deep Freeze: The United States, the International Geophysical Year, and the Origins of Antarctica's Age of Science"
Thursday, Nov, 1
Session 3 - 9:00-11:30 AM
Perspectives on International Politics during the IGY:
Zuoyue Wang, California State Polytechnic, and Jiuchen Zhang, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing "China and the International Geophysical Year";
Allan Needell, National Air and Space Museum, "Lloyd Berkner: Conceptualizing the IGY";
Adrian Howkins, University of Texas, "The International Geophysical Year in the Antarctic Peninsula: Science, Sovereignty, and Internationalization";
Rajesh Kochkar, NIPER: National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research, Mohali1, India, "Science as a symbol of new nationhood: India and the International Geophysical Year"
Lisbeth Lewander, Göteborg University, "Swedish Polar Policies from IPY I to the Present"
Session 4 - 1:30-4:00 PM
The IGY in Outer Space:
Craig McConnell, California State University, Fullerton, "Global Responses to the Launch of Sputnik";
Steven J. Dick, NASA History Office, "Geodesy, Time, and the Markowitz Moon Camera Program: An Interwoven IGY Story";
Erik M. Conway, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, "The International Geophysical Year and Planetary Science, a Half Century On";
Rip Bulkeley, Exeter College, Oxford, "The IGY and the Opening of Soviet Science";
Michael Aaron Dennis, Independent Scholar, "From Polar Projections to the Blue Marble: Re-imagining IPY History"
Session 5 - 5:30-7:30 PM
HSS Plenary session at the Marriott Crystal Gateway -
Polar History: Perspectives on Globalization in the Geosciences:
C. Stewart Gillmor, Wesleyan University, "Eclosion, Synthesis, Conjugacy and Symmetry: Lessons from the History of Polar Research";
Fae Korsmo, National Science Foundation, "Experiments in Concert: Advocacy, Agenda Setting and the IGY";
F. Sherwood Rowland, University of California Irvine, "Stratospheric Ozone Depletion and Greenhouse Gases Since the IGY";
Stephen J. Pyne , Arizona State University, "IGY: Announcing a Third Great Age of Discovery"
Chair and Commmentator, James Fleming, Colby College.
A set of posters will be visible throughout the conference in the lecture room suite to further stimulate discussion during breaks in the oral sessions. Abstracts will be added in August.
We have planned this conference to coincide with an annual meeting of the History of Science Society, which starts nearby in Crystal City, VA with our final session 5:30-7:30pm in Washington on November 1. We hope this linkage will attract as many historians of science as possible. We also feel that the Washington DC site will promote attention among a far broader community of scholars and workers in fields that are impacted by the phenomenon of the IPYs, and who may be aware of and curious about the legacy that has led to the fourth IPY. The Marriott hotel will be hosting conference participants, and a special rate will be offered starting October 30th.
The oral paper sessions are now set. However, we will have room for related poster papers. Registration is free, but required. Send your intention to register to:
If you have additional questions or want to contribute a poster, contact one of the three organizers listed here, indicating the nature of your interest in the subject and your desire to attend the conference.
David DeVorkin email@example.com
Roger Launius firstname.lastname@example.org
James Fleming email@example.com
Speaker Biographies | Presentation Abstracts | Registration Form