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Some Aspects on the History of Ice Core Drilling and Science from IGY to EPICA

Paper in Proceedings of the 3rd Workshop of the SCAR Action Group on the History of Antarctic Research

Författare och institution:
Aant Elzinga (Institutionen för filosofi, lingvistik och vetenskapsteori)
Publicerad i:
National and Trans-National Agendas in Antarctic Research from the 1950s and Beyond, ed. C. Lüdecke, L. Tipton-Everett & L. Lay, s. 86-115
Kapitel, refereegranskat
The State University of Ohio, Byrd Polar Research Center
Columbus Ohio, USA
Sammanfattning (abstract):
Ice core drilling technology has made important new advances in Europe during the past few decades, which has now placed Europe among the leaders in this field of polar research. Less well known is how ice core drilling and its technology has its roots in the Cold War of the 1950’s into the 60’s, and particularly, with a covert US agreement with Denmark over the placement of nuclear weapons on Greenland. Later geopolitical and scientific disagreements also influenced developments. The vision of an all-European ice-core drilling venture in Antarctica, for example, matured in Greenland during difficulties that cropped up in US-European collaboration with Denmark and Switzerland in the mid-1980’s. Historically it coincided with the Reagan administration’s Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI), popularly called Star Wars, a weaponsrelated Research & Development program that introduced a certain amount of suspiciousness and hostility vis a vis scientists in other countries. Although this did not seem to have affected support from the Division of Polar Programs (DPP, the funding agency of the US National Science Foundation, in Washington, D.C.), other factors like different concepts of ice core drilling techniques and strategies, as well as incongruence between rules for funding research at US and European universities, respectively, combined to rupture US-European collaboration in ice core drilling in Greenland. The transatlantic disagreement in turn precipitated formation of a successful all-European consortium in Greenland that fortuitously became the incubator for EPICA, the European Program for Ice Core Drilling in Antarctica that started in 1995.
Ämne (baseras på Högskoleverkets indelning av forskningsämnen):
Geovetenskap och miljövetenskap
Annan samhällsvetenskap
Annan humaniora
Ice cores, Greenland, Antarctica, history of science, politics
Ytterligare information:
The chapter is published on line in a digital book (comprising 162) by the Byrd Polar Research Center in Columbus Ohio as BPRC Technical Report Number 20011-01. It may be accessed at
Postens nummer:
Posten skapad:
2013-01-10 21:24
Posten ändrad:
2013-06-13 10:44

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