UK Polar Network ‘Ask me anything’ session

Author:  Julia Feuer-Cotter As part of the polar week 2016 the UK Polar Network together with APECS hosted a Reddit Ask Me Anything session about all things polar. For two hours on the 22nd September six physical and social scientists working in a variety of research areas and subjects answered a questions by the public, with more contributions arising within the following hours and days. The received questions focused mostly on the various implications of climate change for the polar environment and local animal populations, as well as evidence found in ice cores, and effects of melting sea ice, whilst others were interested in the career path of various scientists with a keen interest in the future of the conducted research projects. Less technical questions, but not less important inquiries, wanted to know about what polar scenery we found most impressive, drinking culture in the field sites, and the popularity of a horror film set in an Antarctic field station. These kinds of inquiries provided insights into the happening of everyday life outside the laboratory or the archive for polar scientists and showed us that those who are interested in polar research also have a keen sense of the things that might not find their way in research papers. In last year’s Ask Me Anything session we observed a similar trend, with members of the public inquiring about feelings of isolation, available food choices, and even mental health concerns for researchers who spend a long time sampling on ships or in research stations.

A big thank you to everyone who contributed questions and answers.

  You can read the archived Reddit page here: https://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/5407fw/it_is_international_polar_we