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The National Maritime Museum celebrates International Polar Year 2007 with this series of talks by explorers, artists, historians and scientists.

Searching or Science: The British in the Arctic 1818-1859 - Andrew Lambert
This lecture will re-consider the classic story of British Arctic expeditions between 1818 and 1859, challenging the long held assumption that they were primarily concerned with locating the North West Passage. Focusing on the tragic Franklin Expedition of 1845 it will argue that the driving force behind exploration by the mid century was scientific research, and that the key issue was the development of a general theory of terrestrial magnetism, which was directly linked to the Navy's concern to improve navigation and chart information. Professor Lambert will also reflect on his own experience tracking the Franklin expedition on King William Island.
Professor Andrew Lambert is Laughton Professor of Naval History, Department of War Studies, King’s College London. He is currently writing a book about his journey to the Arctic in 2004 to follow Franklin’s last expedition.


The Great Game: Claiming and Colonizing the Antarctic (1908-1959) – Klaus Dodds
This talk considers how and with what consequences the Antarctic was claimed and colonized by scientists and military personnel. We consider how research stations and scientific research alongside commercial activities such as whaling played their part in a wider geopolitical game designed to assert control over the southerly continent. In the 1940s and 1950s, with the onset of the Cold War, these so-called 'sovereignty games' became all the more dangerous as the Americans and Soviets extended their interest in the Antarctic. The International Geophysical Year (1957-8) provided the key turning point - it was shown that science and geopolitics could co-exist with one another. In December 1959, despite fears to the contrary, a landmark treaty was signed in Washington DC. The Antarctic Treaty brought to a close this 50 year era of claiming and colonizing but, as the lecture will conclude, did not end controversy over the question of who owns the Antarctic.
Professor Klaus Dodds Professor of Geopolitics, Royal Holloway, University of London. Author of Geopolitics: A Very Short Introduction (2007), Global Geopolitics: A Critical Introduction (2005) and Pink Ice: Britain and the South Atlantic Empire (2002). His current research investigates how the Antarctic has been colonised and occupied by a range of scientific, political, legal and cultural practices and how a group of post-colonial states, led by Malaysia, have challenged the leadership of the Antarctic Treaty System.


Professor Andrew Lambert | talks | www
Prof Klaus Dodds | talks


Date and Time:

9 June 2007 at 3:15 pm


2 hours 30 minutes



National Maritime Museum
Park Row
SE10 9NF
020 8312 6716

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