Press release

Antarctic researchers visit Bremerhaven

[24. September 2004] 

Meeting of the ‘Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research’ (SCAR) from October 3rd to 8th, 2004
Between October 3rd and 8th, delegates of the international ‘Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research’ (SCAR) will be gathering in Bremerhaven. The results and proposals for new research ventures and international cooperation in the Antarctic, developed during the 28th scientific conference of the committee in July, will now be discussed and finalised. Roughly 100 delegates from 31 countries are expected at the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research and at the Historical Museum in Bremerhaven.

Apart from the scientific agenda, a variety of social events will be offered. A combined choral and orchestral concert on October 3rd in the ‘Bürgermeister-Smidt-Gedächtniskirche’ (‘Mayor Smidt Rememberance Church’) will be a special highlight. Ralph Vaughan Williams’ “Sinfonia Antarctica” and Francis Poulenc’s “Gloria” will be performed. The “Sinfonia Antarctica” arose from the film music of “Scott of the Antarctic”, a movie about the tragic south-pole expedition of Robert F. Scott. It may be described as a symphonic poem relating the beauty, but also the danger of the Antarctic. The concert is scheduled for 6pm.

The opening of an art exhibition in the ‘German Maritime Museum’ will further mark the occasion of the delegate meeting. “The Magic of Antarctic Colours” shows more than 60 pastel drawings by the artist David Abbey Paige. Paige travelled as expedition painter on Admiral Byrd’s second Antarctic research cruise from 1933 to 1935. The artist’s son, physicist David A. Paige Jun., will be present for a preview within the context of the SCAR delegate meeting. The actual opening of the show will take place on October 6th at 7pm. The exhibition will subsequently remain in Bremerhaven until December 5th.
In July of 2004, more than 1100 scientists and logistic personnel assembled for the 28th conference of the international ‘Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research’ at the fairs and exhibition centre in Bremen. Biologists, physicists and geologists introduced their current research proposals and results, and discussed new projects. During this Antarctic conference – by far the largest of its kind globally - special emphasis was placed on the integration of up-and-coming scientists into future research projects. The committee represents the most important institutions in international Antarctic research. Each participating nation sends two representatives to the Delegates Conference.

SCAR promotes and coordinates worldwide research in Antarctica, and makes recommendations on further development of the Antarctic treaties and for the protection of the Antarctic environment. At the same time, SCAR works to raise interest on Antarctic issues among politicians, the media and the general public, and to elucidate the societal relevance of Antarctic research. The committee was founded by the ‘International Council for Science’ in 1958 as a non-governmental international organization. The acting president, Prof. Jörn Thiede, is the scientific director of the Alfred Wegener Foundation for Polar and Marine Research.

Bremerhaven, September 29, 2004


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Das Alfred-Wegener-Institut forscht in den Polarregionen und Ozeanen der mittleren und hohen Breiten. Als eines von 19 Forschungszentren der Helmholtz-Gemeinschaft koordiniert es Deutschlands Polarforschung und stellt Schiffe wie den Forschungseisbrecher Polarstern und Stationen für die internationale Wissenschaft zur Verfügung.