Applications are invited for an AHRC-funded studentship at the University of Cambridge, Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) and Royal Society. The PhD studentship is one of six awards being made by the AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Partnership with the Science Museums and Archives Consortium. The project is full-time, funded for three years and begins in October 2018. It will be supervised by Dr Richard Powell (Scott Polar Research Institute and Department of Geography, University of Cambridge), Dr Catherine Souch (RGS-IBG) and Keith Moore (Royal Society), with technical training support from Charlotte Connelly (Polar Museum, Cambridge).

This project aims to provide an account of the emergence of scientific governance in Antarctica, by focusing on the Halley Bay research station. Halley Bay was established by the Royal Society in 1956, in preparation for the International Geophysical Year (IGY), 1957-58, and became a critical centre for observations in global science, including for the discovery of the ozone hole in the 1980s, until its temporary closure in 2017. The histories of Halley Bay have never been fully investigated, and yet they involve many important actors in British post-war science and international governance.

This project will involve research across a range of collections and archives. The Royal Geographical Society holds papers relating to the planning of Antarctic expeditions, including those to Halley Bay. The Royal Society has recently catalogued their extensive holdings of papers, films, scientific instruments and other equipment related to the establishment of the station at Halley Bay. The Scott Polar Research Institute (SPRI) houses objects from the Royal Society IGY expedition, and photographs and a range of papers from the 1950s and 1960s. The extensive archives of the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR), which was founded in tandem with the IGY, and the British Antarctic Survey (BAS), are also held in Cambridge. There may also be the possibility of fieldwork at relevant sites, with the support of the UK Antarctic Heritage Trust, as part of the project. The student will have a degree of freedom to shape the project to their own interests and specialism, given the wealth of material available, and we anticipate that a number of innovative connections between collections will emerge from the research.

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