Glasgow Digital Library Voyage of the Scotia BRUCE PEOPLE SHIP ANTARCTIC INDEX
Scotland and the Antarctic

Section 2: Antarctic Exploration

International co-operation from 1990

International transantarctic expedition 1990

In 1990 six nations co-operated in an international expedition from the northern tip of the Antarctic Peninsula to the South Pole, then on to the Russian base at Mirny. Representatives of six countries took part - United Kingdom, France, Japan, China, Russia and the USA.

The party had 42 huskies with them. They made the first traverse of the Antarctic mountains in winter and after a stop at the South Pole made the first crossing of the 'area of inaccessibility' between the pole and Mirny. The party were in constant contact with their base by radio and a computer link was made to British schools.


Over these 12 years international co-operation in the Antarctic has continued. The signing of the Antarctic Treaty in 1960 was a direct result of the International Geophysical Year.

Today the area between the South Pole and the parallel of latitude of 60 S is used visited only for scientific research. No military presence is allowed, no economic activities such as mining are allowed and there are no animals in the Antarctic - there no longer being any dogs in the Antarctic continent.

Music in the Antarctic

In 1953 Ralph Vaughan-Williams reworked his music 'Scott of the Antarctic' into 'Sinfonia Antarctica'. In 1998 the Orcadian composer Sir Peter Maxwell Davis went to the British Antarctic survey base at Rothera during the Antarctic summer to begin work on a new symphony on Antarctica. By 2001 it was almost complete.

The Scottish composer Gordon MacPherson has written a new work called 'South', to celebrate the centenary of the Scottish National Antarctic Expedition (1902-04). 'South' was performed by the National Youth Orchestra of Scotland in the summer of 2002 at several venues. The new work is to be linked with workshops in Scottish schools.

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Glasgow Digital Library Voyage of the Scotia BRUCE PEOPLE SHIP ANTARCTIC INDEX