Antarctic exploration

Sprent, Charles 1886 , 'Antarctic exploration' , Papers and Proceedings of the Royal Society of Tasmania , pp. 141-155 .

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During the last three years the subject of Antarctic
Exploration has frequently been brought forward and discussed
by the Scientific Societies of Europe, America, and
Australia and a general desire has been expressed to see a
renewal of scientific investigations in those almost unknown
regions. The North Polar regions have been so far explored
that no new discoveries of any importance are to be looked
for in that quarter; the theory of an open Polar Sea has
been annihilated by the discoveries of Sir George Nares and
Lieut. Greeley, and it is now clearly understood that the
North Pole is surrounded by a frozen sea of ancient ice, the
Palaocrystic Sea, over whose rugged surface travelling is so
painfully slow that all hope of reaching the Pole by
ordinary means of progression has been abandoned. For
forty-three years no scientific expedition has visited the
Antarctic Seas, and as during that period immense advances
have been made in all branches of scientific enquiry, it is
only natural that, with the hope of acquiring new facts, as
well as of verifying recorded facts, the attention of the
scientific world is being directed to the South Polar regions,
where so little has been done in the way of exploration that,
with the exception of a few detached pieces of coast-line,
nothing whatever is known of an area of the globe fully as
large as the Continent of Europe. In September of last
year the Association appointed a Committee, consisting of
Sir Leopold McClintock, Sir George Nares, Sir Joseph
Hooker, Dr. Carpenter, Mr. Clements Markham, and others,
to bring up information. It has been suggested that befoie any costly large Expedition
is despatched, it would be advisable to send out a pioneer
vessel to examine certain unknown parts, to select suitable
places for winter quarters, and make preliminary observations.
The Geographical Society of Australasia and the Royal
Society of Victoria are anxious that this preliminary Expedition
should be undertaken by Australia, and have invited the
co-operation of the various Governments and learned Societies
of these colonies, hence the communication which we have
arranged to discuss this evening.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Sprent, Charles
Keywords: Royal Society of Tasmania, Van Diemens Land, VDL, Hobart Town, natural sciences, proceedings, records
Journal or Publication Title: Papers and Proceedings of the Royal Society of Tasmania
ISSN: 0080-4703
Collections: Royal Society Collection > Papers & Proceedings of the Royal Society of Tasmania
Additional Information:

In 1843 the Horticultural and Botanical Society of Van Diemen's Land was founded and became the Royal Society of Van Diemen's Land for Horticulture, Botany, and the Advancement of Science in 1844. In 1855 its name changed to Royal Society of Tasmania for Horticulture, Botany, and the Advancement of Science. In 1911 the name was shortened to Royal Society of Tasmania.

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