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A SHRINKING ROLE FOR SCIENCE IN SHAPING ANTARCTIC POLICY

Volume 5, #6The Scientist March 18, 1991 A SHRINKING ROLE FOR SCIENCE IN SHAPING ANTARCTIC POLICY Author: ELIZABETH PENNISI Date: March 18, 1991 History shows that science once was the driving force behind Antarctic policies. But the present state of affairs suggests that the role of science is diminishing. In 1959, one year after the International Geophysical Year opened this icy frontier to science, the Antarctic Treaty was written by the dozen nations involved in that resea

Elizabeth Pennisi


Volume 5, #6The Scientist March 18, 1991

A SHRINKING ROLE FOR SCIENCE IN SHAPING ANTARCTIC POLICY

Author: ELIZABETH PENNISI
Date: March 18, 1991

History shows that science once was the driving force behind Antarctic policies. But the present state of affairs suggests that the role of science is diminishing.

In 1959, one year after the International Geophysical Year opened this icy frontier to science, the Antarctic Treaty was written by the dozen nations involved in that research. Ratified two years later, it established Antarctica as a place for peaceful activities and called for cooperative and unfettered scientific investigation there. Such investigations would share personnel, plans, observations, and results.

For more than a decade, research there proceeded along those lines. In 1970, for example, President Nixon praised Antarctica as "the only continent where science serves as the principal expression of national policy and interest." In a speech delivered before the...

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