University of Tasmania
1886-Sprent-_Antarctic_exploration.pdf (80.89 MB)

Antarctic exploration

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posted on 2023-11-22, 10:35 authored by Charles Sprent
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.


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Papers and Proceedings of the Royal Society of Tasmania





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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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