Two Antarctic Conferences in one week. The timing could not have been better. The first to be scheduled was Rob Stephenson’s “SouthPole-sium” in Oslo, the third biennial meeting of like-minded Antarctic aficionados. Sixty-six of us—authors, scientists, veterans of the ice, book collectors, and most importantly by now, old friends and new—convened at the Fram Museum to meet, share ideas, learn, and grow.
It’s an informal gathering, with short presentations by the participants on a wide array of diverse topics: the contributions of W. S. Bruce and Thomas Bagshawe, archives at the Wilson in Cheltenham and the Byrd Polar Research Center at OSU, climate change and the emperor penguin, and much, much more.
Including the formal launch of our book. Brad Borkan and Dave Hirzel met at the SouthPole-sium v2 in Craobh Haven, Scotland, and there hatched our plan to write our book. The first words were committed to .doc in a hotel in Glasgow on Monday after. But that is another story.
We were pleased to present, for the first time together, our new book When Your Life Depends on It: Extreme Decision-making Lessons from the Antarctic. Our audience could not have been more supportive of our venture, and we spent much of the weekend in smaller conversations about our book, our experience, and the process of decision-making, with our friends.
The SouthPole-sium is a gathering that is not to be missed. But it was not the only such gathering in Europe during the week of May 13-May 20, 2017.