Preparations are underway for a new large-scale international program in polar research known as “International Polar Year 2007-2008,” or IPY. IPY will include several months of intense research activities, followed by data analysis, publication, and discussions. IPY will be organised jointly by the International Council for Science (ICSU) and the World Meteorological Organisation (
). Several international science bodies – including IASSA – have endorsed the IPY initiative and are engaged in its planning.
International Polar Year 2007-2008
This will be the fourth IPY; the first one was in 1882-83, the second in 1932-33, and the third in 1957-58. This IPY, however, will be the first one with a clearly defined social science and humanities component, thanks to the efforts of an IASSA taskforce of twenty social scientists formed at the 5th International Congress of Arctic Social Sciences in
in May. IASSA has also nominated Igor Krupnik and Grete Hovelsrud-Broda to serve on the main planning body, the IPY Joint Committee (IPY JC).
5 November 2004
, the ICSU Secretariat issued an invitation for submission of expressions of intent (pre-proposals) from scientific groups and individual scholars for prospective endorsement by the IPY JC. The deadline is
14 January 2005
Social Science Theme
The IPY will include a broad range of activities organised around a select number of scientific themes. Thanks to IASSA efforts, a social science theme has been added – to investigate the cultural, historical, and social processes that shape the sustainability of circumpolar human societies, and to identify their unique contributions to global cultural diversity and citizenship.
Priority issues to be addressed in the IPY 2007-2008 under this theme include:
- How can the “wellness” of polar environments be studied in terms of changing socio-political conditions and the health of ecosystems?
- What has been the effectiveness of governance regimes in polar regions, and how can these respond to the divergent and rapidly evolving cultural and socio-economic systems?
- What research methodologies are best suited to an interdisciplinary understanding of the fundamental links between ecosystems, economies and cultural diversity? How can polar residents become more instrumental in shaping these activities; and how can social sciences, humanities, and fine arts communicate this understanding to diverse audiences?
- What are the key human health and medical issues in polar regions? How, for example, are diseases carried into polar communities and how is community health affected by environmental change?
- How can historical studies and records of the polar regions enhance understanding of contemporary social and cultural problems?
- What do the polar societies contribute to global cultural diversity and the political status of indigenous people worldwide?
The IASSA IPY Facilitation Initiative
To facilitate the submission of arctic social science and humanities expressions of intent (pre-proposals) to the ICSU, IASSA has launched an initiative to create a vigorous exchange of ideas, discussion, and active communication. To learn more and/or participate, please go to:
IASSA IPY Facilitation Initiative (http://www.uaf.edu/anthro/iassa/ipysubmitform.htm)
IPY Idea Submissions to IASSA (http://www.uaf.edu/anthro/iassa/ipysubmissions.htm)
IASSA IPY News (http://www.uaf.edu/anthro/iassa/ipynews.htm)
IASSA IPY Task-group (http://www.uaf.edu/anthro/iassa/ipytask.htm)
Links to Other IPY Sites (http://www.uaf.edu/anthro/iassa/ipylinks.htm)
Contact: Anne Sudkamp, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.