’A strong back and love for snow and ice’: Diversification in glaciological research from the 19th to the 20th century

Achermann, Dania (2 September 2020). ’A strong back and love for snow and ice’: Diversification in glaciological research from the 19th to the 20th century (Unpublished). In: 9th International Conference of the European Society for the History of Science (ESHS). Bologna. 31.08.-03.09.2020.

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In the 19th and until the mid-20th century, European glaciology was a field science dominated by geological questions and characterised by a strong focus on glacier volume and dynamics. Observing and measuring volume and behaviour, as well as monitoring and mapping of glaciers were main objectives of glaciological expeditions. The knowledge gained from field work in the alps were transferred and expanded in the Arctic.
After World War II, this began to change. Physicist and chemists developed a stronger interest in glaciers and ice, and set up a novel field of ice core research, characterised by laboratory studies of ice samples. The introduction of mathematical flow models, new instruments such as special radiation counters and ice drills, as well as a new interest in the relationship between glacial ice and climate history, led to a new kind of physical-chemical glaciology. However, this technology-intensive laboratory work has neither replaced nor marginalised traditional field research but expanded the range of research practice, approaches and questions in glaciology and led to a “close cooperation between the geochemist and the field glaciologist”.
This contribution will shed light on the reasons of this diversification of glaciological practice by analysing the role of instruments, the shifts of epistemological interests, and the influence of regional as well as global politics.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)

Division/Institute:

06 Faculty of Humanities > Department of History and Archaeology > Institute of History
10 Strategic Research Centers > Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research (OCCR)
06 Faculty of Humanities > Department of History and Archaeology > Institute of History > Economic, Social and Environmental History

UniBE Contributor:

Achermann, Dania

Subjects:

500 Science > 550 Earth sciences & geology
900 History
900 History > 940 History of Europe
900 History > 970 History of North America

Projects:

[1243] Ice Cores, Small States and Global Climate Change: The rise of a new scientific discipline Official URL

Language:

English

Submitter:

Dania Achermann

Date Deposited:

10 Dec 2020 08:16

Last Modified:

10 Dec 2020 08:16

Additional Information:

The theme of the 2020 meeting is “Visual, Material and Sensory Cultures of Science”

Uncontrolled Keywords:

History of Science

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/147661

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