An Arctic expedition: a supposedly useful thing I’ll never do again
The aim of the second Scientific Expedition Edgeøya Spitsbergen (SEES), which took place from 13 to 22 July 2022, was to study the consequences of climate warming in the High Arctic, building on ecological data gathered by the Dutch Arctic Station on Edgeøya between 1968 and 1987 and the first SEES expedition in 2015. In this Perspective essay, I ponder the actual purpose of SEES 2022, in which I participated as an early-career research scientist. The research activities were very limited and climate change was named as the restricting factor. Fifty researchers were accompanied by 50 tourists, journalists and policymakers. The choice made by the expedition leaders and funders to go for a tourist vessel was mostly financial, and the difference in media output versus expected research output substantial, which points to paradoxes related to research, publicity, politics and tourism in the Arctic.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
Authors contributing to Polar Research retain copyright of their work, with first publication rights granted to the Norwegian Polar Institute. Read the journal's full Copyright- and Licensing Policy.