In Deep Freeze, Dian Olson Belanger tells the story
of the pioneers who built viable communities, made vital scientific
discoveries, and established Antarctica as a continent dedicated to
peace and the pursuit of science, decades after the first explorers
planted flags in the ice.
In the tense 1950s, even as the world was locked in the Cold
War, U.S. scientists, maintained by the Navy's
Operation Deep Freeze, came together in Antarctica with
counterparts from eleven other countries to participate in the
International Geophysical Year (IGY). On July 1, 1957, they began
systematic, simultaneous scientific observations of the south-polar
ice and atmosphere. Their collaborative success over eighteen
months inspired the Antarctic Treaty of 1959, which formalized
their peaceful pursuit of scientific knowledge. Still building on
the achievements of the individuals and distrustful nations thrown
together by the IGY from mutually wary military, scientific, and
political cultures, science prospers today and peace endures.
The year 2007 marked the fiftieth anniversary of the IGY and the
commencement of a new International Polar Year - a compelling
moment to review what a singular enterprise accomplished in a
troubled time. Belanger draws from interviews, diaries, memoirs,
and official records to weave together the first thorough study of
the dawn of Antarctica's scientific age. Deep
Freeze offers absorbing reading for those who have ventured
onto Antarctic ice and those who dream of it, as well as
historians, scientists, and policy makers.
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