History of Marine Science SIG

The Challenger Society’s name and its origins derive from the expedition that is acknowledged to mark the start of the systematic study of the oceans on a global scale.  The scientific legacy of that expedition is found in the samples collected, the several volumes of Challenger Reports  and the data they contain and in the published literature.


Since that voyage in the 1870s, our knowledge of the oceans has increased hugely through the efforts of research groups from many nations and through international collaboration. Until the advent of micro solid-state electrics, and then the launch of earth-observing satellites, observational techniques changed little in the almost 100 years since the Challenger voyage.   The subsequent advances, within our present lifetime, have been dizzying and the many research groups in the United Kingdom have made important contributions.

 
The Challenger Society’s Special Interest Group on History was re-launched in late 2016 with the general objectives of raising and sustaining interest in the history of UK marine science and, more specifically, of documenting and capturing the recollections, unpublished documents and memorabilia of present-day scientists.

This web site reflects the activities of the History SIG but also builds on and links to similar efforts based on the work of individual laboratories, on archive collections and on publications in the open literature.

The task is a daunting one and is thus focused initially on carrying out and encouraging the following :-
-       Making available the biographies of scientists who made important contributions, and encouraging active scientists to record important aspects of their careers.
-       Documenting technologies that were important stepping stones towards our modern-day capabilities
-       Preserving, enlarging and enhancing the photographic record 
-       Ensuring that important artefacts and documents are preserved and adequately documented
-       Preserving historical data
-       Documenting these activities in publications and talks.

We encourage people to join the SIG and to let us know their interests and areas of expertise so that other members of the Group can be made aware of them. The email of anyone who joins will be added to a JISCMAIL list whereby all members can communicate with each other (unless the person prefers not to receive emails that way).     

 

Latest News

Is fieldwork a requirement for a career in marine science?

Please save the date for an introductory and perception gathering event run by a subset of the Challenger Society EDIA working group. The virtual event will focus on ‘Evaluating perceptions of job roles in marine research and raising awareness of digital twinning of the oceans to promote diversity and inclusivity in the marine sciences.’ The event will take place on the 27th of January 2021 13:30-15:30 on zoom.


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The Decade Working Group (DWG): Update

In the UK marine community the United Nations Decade of Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030), hereafter ‘the Decade’, is gaining growing publicity. What is less well established is how UK marine researchers can participate in the Decade and how funding for research will emerge.

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New NERC Ocean Observations Consultation

The Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) has asked the National Oceanography Centre (NOC) to lead a piece of work on prioritising the sustained ocean observations that are most important to the UK and the international effort. 

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