Expedition Medicine sponsors the International Scott Centenary Expedition

Expedition and Wilderness is proud to sponsor the International Scott Centenary Expedition ISCE. 

The story of Captain Robert Falcon Scott RN (1868 -1912) is one of the greatest epic tales in human history. Through his life, which he dedicated to the scientific exploration of the Antarctic regions, and in his heroic death, he has inspired the lives of many. His work paved the way for the modern Antarctic as a continent for science and international co-operation.

Scott’s British Antarctic Expedition (1910 -1913) was not, however, in the business of creating heroes. The main objective, as expressed by Scott in his prospectus, was “To reach the South Pole and to secure for the British Empire the honour of this achievement”. The expedition had further objectives in scientific research and geographical exploration and intended to make “…bagging the Pole merely an item in the results”. To achieve this, Scott took with him the most extensive team of scientists to visit Antarctica during the Heroic Age of Antarctic exploration.

Their wide ranging achievements were overshadowed by what became the loss of the race to the South Pole to the Norwegian Roald Amundsen and the subsequent death of Captain Scott and the Polar Party. Nevertheless their efforts paved the way for the foundation of modern polar studies with the foundation of the Scott Polar Research Institute in Cambridge as a national memorial to Captain Scott and the Polar Party. This has ensured the continuation of their legacy of scientific exploration to this day.

With 2012 marking the centenary of the deaths of Captain Scott and the Polar Party, there is no better time to remember the achievements of the expedition, to raise the public’s awareness of the role that the expedition members played towards advancing polar research and to commemorate those who gave their lives – Captain Scott RN, Dr Wilson, Lieutenant Bowers RIM, Captain Oates and Petty Officer Evans RN.

The International Scott Centenary Expedition (ISCE)

There is no intention for the ISCE to be a re-enactment of Captain Scott’s original Terra Nova expedition, but to provide a fitting focus and commemoration of its achievements, and so generate maximum public interest and inspire an effective education and media programme.

Objectives.   To undertake a national education programme and an international media outreach campaign, which will advance the education of the public in general about the environment and the role Captain Scott’s expedition played in advancing polar research.

To undertake an expedition to Antarctica in January 2012, involving people from multiple backgrounds and ages, to visit the last tent site of Scott and his Polar Party, and in doing so to provide a clear focus for the education programme and media outreach campaign, and thereby to inspire and educate the community at large and the leaders of tomorrow.

To promote and encourage, whether by raising funds or otherwise, the Scott Polar Research Institute and thereby advance its work in polar studies and environmental sciences, to the benefit of the public in general.

The Education Outreach Programme.    Just as Captain Scott involved many schools in the work of his expedition to educate and inspire future generations, so will the ISCE. Centred in the heart of Captain Scott’s home town, the programme will be developed in partnership with Plymouth based Education Through Expeditions (ETE)

Nestled between Dartmoor and the English Channel, with one of the largest natural harbours in Europe, Plymouth is from where the Pilgrim Fathers sailed on the Mayflower to the Americas, the location where Drake defeated the Armada, the port from which Darwin sailed to the Galapagos Islands and the birth place of Captain Robert Falcon Scott RN. It is a seafaring city which has strong ties with the Royal Navy and will also be celebrating the sesquicentennial of the University of Plymouth’s School of Navigation in 2012. Plymouth is proud of its heritage and is an inspiring location, providing opportunities for an extensive Scott Centenary Outreach Programme.
Through developing resources and activities directly linked with the National Curriculum, we will aim to reach out to a global audience. Our aim is not only to inspire hearts and minds in celebrating the Scott centenary but to raise aspirations and drive entrepreneurial spirit and ambition. In addition, as Scott himself realised, the science of the Antarctic regions is critical in developing an understanding of our planet. This is particularly true today in apprehending the environmental impacts we have, from the ozone hole to climate change and sustainability. The ISCE therefore represents a key educational opportunity for educating in these fields towards the development of community and global citizenship.
Linked strategic working is planned between ETE, the University of Plymouth, Plymouth City Council, Plymouth City Centre Company, the Local Strategic Partnership and ISCE media partners. Core aims will include:
  • Education through environment, science and history
  • To raise levels of inspiration and aspiration
  • Promotion of community and global citizenship
Polar Fun Days (Feb 2011)
The ISCE outreach programme is generating considerable interest among schools, the media and educational organisations. Starting in February 2011, the ISCE will hold a Polar Fun Day each month, aiming to reach all areas of Plymouth. Content will include art, science and cultural based projects. The Polar Fun Days are a community engagement project, and we aim to involve all ages and backgrounds in celebrating Scott.
Scott Centenary Teachers Conference (June 2011)
This will take place through the collaboration of multiple education agencies, with the ISCE as a catalyst. As well as commemorating the Scott Centenary and publicising the ISCE, the conference will celebrate the University of Plymouth’s School of Navigation and its long established reputation for discovery. The conference will seek to maximise educational outreach opportunities through the motivation of teaching networks. Teaching resources based on the Scott Centenary are being developed in conjunction with Plymouth City Council to cover an extraordinary range of topics across all Key Stages of the National Curriculum.

It is hoped that the results will be extensive and help improve student grades, especially in science, positively impacting employability.

The Expedition

The Expedition is the central focus for the ISCE education and media outreach programme. Just as Captain Scott involved as many people as possible in his expedition to represent as many interests as possible, so will the ISCE.

The Sledge Party

The Sledge Party will attend the memorial service by forming a tribute man-hauling party who will follow the route taken by the Search Party of 1912. The team will travel with full supplies from Scott’s original Base to where the tent of the Polar Party was found. On completion of the service they will return overland – a journey of 290 miles. The team will consist of:

  • Established polar explorers and adventurers – Members of Her Majesty’s Armed Forces
  • Youth Members – Novice Expeditioners
  • ISCE Daily Telegraph Competition winner
  • Media team

The Flight Party

To achieve maximum public interest and support, descendants, major sponsors and representatives from organisations with links to the original expedition will be flown into Antarctica. Here they will join the Sledge Party for the memorial service, reminding us that real human lives form the heart of these epic stories. Participants may include:

  • Descendants of the five Polar families – Expedition Patrons
  • Major sponsors – Representatives of Polar Organisations
  • Senior Representatives of Her Majesty’s Armed Forces

Supporting the Work of the Scott Polar Research Institute 

As Captain Scott lay dying on the Ross Ice Shelf on 29 March 1912, he finished his powerful diary entry with the words: “For God’s Sake look after our people”.

His courage inspired so many, that a major appeal was launched to do just that. The proceeds of the Lord Mayor of London’s Appeal were used to provide for the dependants of Captain Scott and his companions.

However, enough money was raised also to continue Scott’s work both through the publication of the expedition’s scientific reports, and with the foundation of a multi-disciplinary Institute of Polar Studies. Today, the Scott Polar Research Institute (SPRI) remains a leading international centre for the pursuit of scientific excellence in both Polar Regions.

As part of the University of Cambridge, it is the oldest centre for polar research within a University. It is unique for its inclusive, bi-polar and circum-polar vision, including the sciences, social sciences and humanities. Current research groups are focusing on polar climate change and related issues. SPRI also contains the world’s premier Polar Library and a globally important Archive, Museum and Picture Library.

100 years on, however, SPRI needs an endowment to better meet the challenges of 21st century polar studies. Support for SPRI, is therefore a key part of the Scott centenary aims and those of the International Scott Centenary Expedition, 2012.

For more information on the visit  Scott Polar Research Institute https://www.spri.cam.ac.uk/