Exploration in the Arctic: Past, Present and Future

Talk Tuesday 9 June 2015, 7:00 PM

Continuing the Exploration at the Frontline collaboration between the Frontline Club and the Scientific Exploration Society, BBC Science editor David Shukman will chair a panel of explorers, scientists, reporters and experts to better understand how Arctic exploration has changed over the years.

The panel will discuss how knowledge and understanding of environmental impact, extraction of resources and geopolitical issues have moulded the region, and what the consequences are for those of us watching from afar. With oil firm Royal Dutch Shell having recently won conditional approval from the US Department of Interior to explore for oil in the Arctic, we will be asking what this kind of exploration means for the region.

This event will be chaired by BBC Science editor David Shukman, whose reports on research have taken him as far afield as the Antarctic ice-sheet, the Amazon rainforest and the depths of the Gulf of Mexico. Since joining the BBC in 1983, he has covered Northern Ireland, defence, Europe and world affairs. He is author of An Iceberg As Big As Manhattan: Reporting from science’s new frontlines and Reporting Live from the End of the World.

The panel:

Pen Hadow is an Arctic Ocean explorer and advocate. He is the founder and leader of the multi-award winning Catlin Arctic Survey (2007-2013), an international research programme on the Arctic Ocean, and the associated environmental research-sponsorship agency, Geo Mission. A decade on, Pen Hadow remains the only person to have reached the North Geographic Pole, solo and without resupply, from Canada.

Professor Martin Siegert FRSE is co-director of the Grantham Institute. Previously, he was director of the Bristol Glaciology Center at Bristol University and head of the School of GeoSciences at Edinburgh University. His particular field of expertise is to use geophysics to measure the subglacial landscape and understand what this tells us about changes to the environment. In 2013 he was awarded the Martha T. Muse Prize for excellence in Antarctic science and policy, and in 2007 he was elected as a fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

Charles Emmerson is a writer and historian based in London. He is the author of The Future History of the Arctic, exploring the past, present and future of our relationship with the Arctic, from past mythologies of the north to the modern emergence of the Arctic as a zone of geopolitical interest and massive environmental change. He is an Associate Fellow at Chatham House.

Frank Hewetson has worked for Greenpeace for over 25 years. He has particular knowledge of protest against the off-shore oil industry, he has spent many months at sea and worked consistently on the Arctic campaign for the last 5 years, and was one of the ‘Arctic 30’ detained by the Russians in September 2013.