Reading and thinking about International Polar Years: five recent books

  • Dave Carlson
Keywords: International Polar Year, International Geophysical Year, international science, history of polar science


Within the polar science community the Polar (and Geophysical) Years represent signal events. We often read, largely within geoscience literature, that those events represented positive and dramatic steps forward in international science. From five recent books - two historical compilations and three personal narratives - augmented by interviews with a few key participants, a more cautious picture emerges, of remarkable successes but also of occasional or even persistent missteps and deficiencies. An improved understanding of the IPY concept and experience can provide useful guidance for future polar and global science.

Keywords: International Polar Year; International Geophysical Year; international science; history of polar science

(Published: 1 April 2013)

Citation: Polar Research 2013, 32, 20789,


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How to Cite
Carlson, D. (2013). Reading and thinking about International Polar Years: five recent books. Polar Research, 32.