Science in the Race to the South Pole

Edward J. Larson

Linda Hall Library

Thursday, February 29, 2024 7:00 pm EST

Linda Hall Library
5109 Cherry Street
Kansas City, MO, 64110

Presented in association with the National WWI Museum and Memorial.

Roald Amundsen's team was the first to reach the South Pole. But Amundsen's closest competitor, Robert F. Scott, was not merely in a race for second place. Instead, as historian, law professor, and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Edward J. Larson argues, Scott's British Antarctic Expedition was a massive scientific enterprise with an exploratory component. Amundsen won the race to the pole. Scott ushered in a new era of Antarctic, polar, and climate science, a contribution that lives on today at research stations across Antarctica.

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The Speaker:

Edward J. Larson, PhD, JD
Pulitzer Prize-winning Historian, Law Professor, and Antarctic Explorer
Ed Larson is University Professor of History and Law at Pepperdine University and previously taught for 20 years at the University of Georgia, where he chaired the history department. Recipient of a Pulitzer Prize in History with a PhD in the History of Science from the University of Wisconsin and a law degree from Harvard, Larson is the author of fifteen books on the history of scientific exploration and American history including the bestseller The Return of George Washington, 1783-1789 and the Pulitzer Prize-winning Empire of Ice: Science in the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration.

Professor Larson has lectured on all seven continents in one year, made presentations at over 100 universities and cultural institutions, and served as a visiting professor or resident scholar at Yale Law School, Stanford Law School, University of Melbourne, Leiden University, Cambridge University, Mount Vernon, Bellagio Institute, and University of Richmond.