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SPRI Public Lecture Series Lent Term 2006

SPRI Public Lecture Series Lent Term 2006

Note: Car parking in the Institute's grounds is sometimes inadequate for the number of cars used by those attending lectures. Owing to fire brigade regulations visitors are requested not to park other than in the designated spaces. The entrances and escapes, access to the Department of Chemistry, and route for the fire brigade, must not be obstructed. There is a multi-storey car park about 400m west of the Institute and local street parking is usually easy on Saturday evenings.

The Crossing of Antarctica - Commonwealth Trans-Antarctic Expedition (1955-58)

Saturday 11 February 2006 at 20:00 (doors open 19:30)

This film, made in technicolour, shows the first crossing of the Antarctic continent from the Weddell Sea to the Ross Sea. Led by Dr Vivian Fuchs, with members from Britain, New Zealand, Australia, and South Africa, the expedition established bases at the southern extents of the Weddell Sea ('Shackleton') in February 1956, and the Ross Sea ('Scott Base') in January 1957. From 24 November 1957 to 2 March 1958 the crossing was made reaching the South Pole on 20 January 1958. Peter Fuchs, son of Sir Vivian Fuchs, will introduce the film.

Shackleton and Elephant Island

Jan Piggott

Saturday 25 February 2006 at 20:00 (doors open 19:30)

The lecturer is the Keeper of Archives of Dulwich College, London (Sir Ernest Shackleton's school) The narrative of the Endurance, beset and sunk, of the ordeals of the men on the ice and in the boats to Elephant Island is now well known, as is Shackleton's journey in James Caird to South Georgia to save his men, but how did the 22 men cope meanwhile, marooned on Elephant Island from 15 April to 30 August 1916? Frank Wild remained in charge saving them from starvation and despair. Their morale, in the face of extreme exposure to the elements, the ingenuity of their devices for survival, their diet, conversation and entertainments all reveal heroic qualities of Shackletonian endurance.

Sir James Wordie: Polar Crusader

Michael Smith

Saturday 11 March 2006 at 20:00 (doors open 19:30)

Sir James Wordie, as a geologist, was a member of the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition led by Sir Ernest Shackleton, whose early Antarctic experiences included being marooned on Elephant Island. Thus began a distinguished polar career. Wordie achieved prominence in the Discovery Committee, Royal Geographical Society, Scott Polar Research Institute, British Mountaineering Council, Commonwealth Trans-Antarctic Expedition, St John's College, British National Committee for the International Geophysical Year, and several other organizations. Thus Sir James became a link between the 'Heroic Age' of exploration and recent times. The lecturer wrote the first biography of Sir James Wordie, with the endorsement of his family.

The Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research

Peter Clarkson

Saturday 25 March 2006 at 20:00 (doors open 19:30)

The lecturer is the recently retired Executive Secretary of the senior non-governmental organization involved with all branches of Antarctic scientific research. He began his career as a geologist with the British Antarctic Survey where a vast practical experience of, and enthusiasm for, Antarctic regions developed. From 1989, when he was appointed to SCAR, he has been involved in its deliberations and the many scientific programmes. As well as the science, many of the legal and diplomatic aspects, which are the provenance of the Antarctic Treaty, are also concerned because SCAR advises the Treaty. With over 15 years of experience in international meetings the lecturer will deliver a selection of anecdotes, confessions, and observations.