1. The programme framework is ready
  2. Venue stood the test
  3. Committees ready to start working
  4. 1st Circular: Call for session proposals
  5. Oslo's new signature
  6. POLARCAT won the race for first proposal
  7. All programme proposals welcome
  8. IPY Open science in St.Petersburg
  9. Programme of 39 sessions
  10. Offer to registered participants: 30 percent discount on excursion to Svalbard
  11. IASC provides travel support to early career scientists
  12. 2nd Circular: Call for abstracts
  13. Time to get a booth at PolarEXPO!
  14. PolarCINEMA ready to receive polar films and TV-documentaries
  15. Steven Chown to be awarded the Martha T Muse Prize at IPY-OSC
  16. The IPY ‘From Knowledge to Action’ Conference to be held in Montreal in 2012
  17. Unique opportunity for science teachers
  18. A new precedent for the involvement of early career scientists
  19. Several opportunities to get travel support
  20. More than 2200 abstracts submitted on deadline
  21. Registration now open
  22. 400 stipends distributed to early career polar scientists
  23. Get your Letter of Invitation
  24. Invitations out for the PolarTEACHERS conference
  25. PolarCINEMA committee very satisfied with the turnout
  26. More than 2500 abstracts accepted
  27. RV Oceania to Oslo for IPY-OSC
  28. Institutions invited to indicate interest for the PolarFESTIVAL
  29. Poster guidelines
  30. Time slots allocated for sessions
  31. Book before 6th May: Glaciers and fjords - excursion to the scenic highlights of Western Norway
  32. Draft programme ready
  33. HRH Crown Prince Haakon will open the IPY-OSC 2010
  34. HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco will attend the conference
  35. 9th June Keynote: Katherine Richardson
  36. 10th June Keynote: Ole Henrik Magga
  37. Tinker Foundation travel grants for Latin American participants
  38. 11th June Keynote: David Barber
  39. 12th June Keynote: Alexander Frolov
  40. 2200 have registered so far
  41. Make sure your media contacts are invited
  42. PolarEXCHANGE with Sue Nelson
  43. Patrick Webber awarded with the first IASC Medal
  44. Arctic sea ice cover heading towards another record low?
  45. Teachers and young scientists join forces in Oslo
  46. Making marfu and melting ice
  47. Preparing for tomorrows polar science
  48. Launch of the Polar Information Commons (PIC) Tuesday afternoon
  49. Cruising the Oslo Fjord for polar history
  50. Warm opening of a cool conference
  51. A territory of dialogue
  52. From policy to action
  53. Signing agreement for cooperation
  54. Rising sea levels on the agenda
  55. Prestigious prize for work in Antarctica
  56. Polar expedition to the FRAM Museum
  57. More cold and snowy winters to come
  58. Arctic and Antarctic partners sign agreement on polar education
  59. Medal for science and inspiring mentorship
  60. Science should incorporate indigenous knowledge
  61. A road movie on ice
  62. Data on ice loss in the Arctic Ocean can be misleading
  63. On the making of polar documentaries
  64. Encounters on Polar Street
  65. Morning plenary: Vladimir Kattsov
  66. International Polar Year officially closed
  67. Survey shows Norwegians believe in science
  68. 1st Circular out for IPY 2012 MONTRÉAL
  69. 2nd Circular out for IPY 2012 in Montreal
  70. Reminder: Call for abstracts
  71. One week left till Abstract Deadline
  72. Updating the IPY Publications Database for the IPY 2012 Conference in Montreal
  73. Time to register for the IPY 2012 conference

Encounters on Polar Street

polarstreet (Ingressbilde)

Around 2300 scientists, policy makers, teachers and students have attended one or more of the 1800 or so presentations that have been held during the IPY-OSC week. We asked some of them about their experiences.

Andra Bergamasco, Nantional Resarch Council of Italy, Institute of Marine Sciences (ISMAR)Photo: John Petter Reinertsen/Samfoto
Andra Bergamasco, Nantional Resarch Council of Italy, Institute of Marine Sciences (ISMAR)
Professor Andrea Bergamasco, National Research Council of Italy, Institute of Marine Sciences (ISMAR)

"I think IPY-OSC has been a good conference. There has been a great deal of enthusiasm . But it has been a problem that the conference venue is so spread out. The organisers should have kept things closer together.

I have given two presentations myself, one about Antarctic bottom water and one about Antarctic marine dynamics and biological records, but I've also had time to attend several other lectures.

On Friday, for instance, I was at a very interesting lecture within the theme "New frontiers and directions in biology, ecology and biodiversity". It was about the use of sensors attached to seals in the IPY project Marine Mammals Exploring the Oceans Pole to Pole (MEOP). I believe this will be an important method in the future. This was a very useful talk for me to attend, particularly because it brought together biologists and us physicists in a very constructive way."


Ana Weissling, Fabra Elementary School,Texas,USA.Photo: John Petter Reinertsen/Samfoto
Ana Weissling, Fabra Elementary School,Texas,USA.
Ana Weissling, teacher at Fabra Elementary School, Texas, USA

"I've connected with colleagues from all over the world who teach the same subjects as I do. I'll definitely be using my new contacts in future projects.

We've been building up networks for knowledge exchange, which is great.

I also attended the PolarTEACHERS conference just prior to IPY-OSC. I've now been able to talk directly to the scientists behind the topics we discussed at the teachers' conference. I've been able to ask directly about issues I am interested in, which was truly a unique opportunity.

I brought my own special penguin to the conference with me. The children back home insisted that I get autographs from all the scientists that I met - and as you can see, it's  already getting pretty full of names."


Harald Steen, Norwegian Polar Institute, Norway.Photo: John Petter Reinertsen/Samfoto
Harald Steen, Norwegian Polar Institute, Norway.
Harald Steen, Deputy Research Director at the Norwegian Polar Institute

"This has been a huge conference with a lot of different topics. I found the first couple of days a bit chaotic as it was hard to choose between all the sessions and lectures. Sometimes I found that there were three lectures I really wanted to go to, and they were all at the same time, which was a bit frustrating. 

The fact that the conference has been devoid of paper and entirely based on electronic solutions was a bit out of the usual, but the next time we hit a paperless conference I'm sure we'll master the drill.

Having said that, however, the conference has provided unique opportunities to meet people. Here on "Polar Street" at the heart of the conference, important meeting points have been established. Just now, by coincidence and by listening in on a lecture, I met and had a very fruitful discussion with someone from a different part of the world who is using exactly the same technique as I am to map seabird populations.

We've already made definite plans to exchange data and to cooperate in the future."


Samantha Hansen, Pennsylvania State University, USAPhoto: John Petter Reinertsen/Samfoto
Samantha Hansen, Pennsylvania State University, USA
Samantha Hansen, post doc at Pennsylvania State University, USA

"It's great for me to be here and meet so many other researchers. I'm about to finish my post doctorate, so I'm at the beginning of my career. This is a wonderful opportunity to make new contacts.

I found the first day of the conference most useful. There were several lectures and presentations in my field, which is earth structures and seismology.

I think it's very important to communicate research results to schools, so I've been to some of the education-related lectures too, and found them useful."



Huigeng Yang, Polar Research Institute of ChinaPhoto: John Petter Reinertsen/Samfoto
Huigeng Yang, Polar Research Institute of China
Dr. Huigeng Yang
, Director of the Polar Research Institute of China

 "The conference has been a wonderful opportunity for exchanging knowledge. But first and foremost it has been a social meeting place for both young and established researchers.

My research interest is Aurora observations. Before joining PRIC, I spent 17 months doing Aurora observations at Japan's Syowa Station in the Antarctic. I've heard some interesting lectures on the topic here at the conference.

This conference has opened the minds of the participants, but even more importantly, we have also reached those on the outside. Outreach activities are a very important part of polar research, and IPY has been very successful in this regard."



Wenfang Chen, Polar Research Institute of China.Photo: John Petter Reinertsen/Samfoto
Wenfang Chen, Polar Research Institute of China.
Wenfang Chen, Polar Research Institute of China

"I have found this conference to be a wonderful experience, especially for young researchers who have been able to meet established researchers and build new networks.

I'm working on data management myself at the Polar Research Institute of China, and I think that the Polar Information Centre (PIC), which was launched here at the conference, is very good. The open source data from IPY will be of great benefit to the research community. When data is more readily available, research makes progress more quickly."







J.W.V. Storey, University of New South Wales, Australia.Photo: John Petter Reinertsen/Samfoto
J.W.V. Storey, University of New South Wales, Australia.
Professor John W.V. Storey, University of New South Wales, Australia

"For me, the real benefit of IPY-OSC has been the opportunity to meet so many researchers at once. I'm an astronomist, working on Antarctic astronomy. It's interesting to meet scientists who are working on astronomy in the north, for instance on the Aurora Borealis - we're all using the same physics, after all.

And I'd like to add that Oslo is the nicest city I've ever been to. I particularly like being able to walk everywhere.

There's been a lot of walking here at the conference venue too. I have a pedometer on my mobile, and it says I've walked 15000 steps in the last 24 hours, or about 12 kilometres. The size of the conference centre and the number of participants must have made this quite a challenge for the organisers, but I think they've done a good job.

I'm on my way to a session about the exploitation of minerals and the relationship between state players and non-state players. It's right at the other end of the venue, so I'd better go so that I get there in time."


Helga Saudny, McGill University, Canada.Photo: John Petter Reinertsen/Samfoto
Helga Saudny, McGill University, Canada.
Helga Saudny, Centre for Indigenous Peoples' Nutrition and Environment, McGill University, Montreal, Canada

"I think the conference is very well organised, but I'm a little disappointed that my field of research - human health - has not been given a very prominent place in the programme. Let's hope it will be more to the fore next time round.

I am research coordinator for the Canadian IPY project Inuit Health Survey.

Apart from this, I feel the conference sessions are scattered across too large an area. It takes a long time to walk from one session to another, which is a bit wearing. It would be nice if things were closer together ..."





Cinzia Verde, National Research Council of Italy, Institute of Protein BiochemistryPhoto: John Petter Reinertsen/Samfoto
Cinzia Verde, National Research Council of Italy, Institute of Protein Biochemistry
Professor Cinzia Verde, National Research Council of Italy, Institute of Protein Biochemistry

"I think the conference is far too big. I've only had a limited amount of interaction with other researchers, and unfortunately didn't get very much out of the poster sessions either.

I also think the organisers have failed in some respects, which is hardly surprising. With the best will in the world, there's a limit to how many participants you can have and still organise a good conference. There have just been too many people to deal with. In my opinion, the best conferences have at most 100-200 participants. It was worst at the start of the conference - now that the whole apparatus has got going, it's running much more smoothly.

As an experienced researcher, I've had no trouble finding out which lectures and presentations I wanted to attend, but for young researchers the huge programme must have been completely confusing.

I've held two oral presentations at the conference, one on evolutionary adaptations in Antarctic marine organisms and one on Arctic fish haemoglobins."

Last updated: 13.06.2010