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IPY Report: May 2010


1) Preparations and Promotions for Oslo Science Conference
2) Polar Information Commons
3) IPY Lessons Learned
4) APECS Update

Report no. 37, May 2010
From: IPY International Programme Office
To: IPY Project Coordinators
cc: IPY Community Google Groups

1) Preparations and Promotions for Oslo Science Conference

Distinguished speakers, awards, films, festivals, the best and most recent polar science and polar science communication - you will enjoy all this and more at the Oslo Science Conference.  Please see the web site for the latest news and information. 

We anticipate strong media interest in the Oslo event.  The IPY media working group will ensure excellent media services at the conference venue.  To promote your activities and the conference itself, we encourage stories and press releases now, in the remaining weeks leading up to the conference.  If your research team or organization plans an event, a launch of a new service, an award, or some other announcement at Oslo, please work with us now to promote that activity through our media distribution links and on  We in the IPO and members of the media working group can help you craft these stories and can ensure that they get released into our science communication networks.  Please contact Dave Carlson ( with ideas or for more information. 

2) Polar Information Commons

With the Polar Information Commons (PIC,, IPY has initiated a fast and easy-to-use open data resource accessible through normal search and browse tools.  The PIC mirrors the “real” commons of the Antarctic (defined in the Antarctic Treaty) and responds to the common interests of humanity by serving as an open repository for scientific data and information about the polar regions and as a community-based infrastructure that fosters innovation and stimulates participation.  In the PIC vision, investigators expose their data to the world and share them, without restriction, through open search and broadcast protocols on the internet.  All PIC data carry a digital badge that denotes cooperation and expectations among providers and users based on open access norms and best practices.

We intend to demonstrate, in a hands-on fashion, the PIC tools, processes, and systems at the Oslo Science Conference and to allow interested users to badge and submit their data within the PIC system.  PIC will serve as the centrepiece of an information commons area at Oslo, an area that will include polar graphics materials from IPO and from the Polar Unit of UNEP’s environmental information centre at GRID-Arendal, a display of the many books from the IPY Polar Books Project, complimentary copies of the new ‘Polar Science and Global Climate’ book from the IPY science communication community, and remarkable polar photographs from our frequent IPY partner Christian Morel.  Australia, Canada, France, the Netherlands, Norway, UK, USA - many partners contribute to the PIC processes and exhibits.  Art students from the Netherlands have designed a ‘Fifth Element’ data sculpture - you will find the PIC displays under that rotating sculpture. 

3) IPY Lessons Learned

With funding from an ICSU grant to IASC and SCAR, APECS and IPO have started a preliminary assessment of the IPY science communication activities.  This initial one-year effort will not produce a systematic assessment of the IPY education and outreach impact, but it will assemble, in a timely manner, lists and inventories of the wide variety and mixture of IPY communication activities in order to extract some initial ‘Lessons Learned’, to identify key activities for continuation, and to develop a strategy and compile the materials for a subsequent detailed and rigorous assessment. 

With this initiative, we continue to draw on the expertise and enthusiasm of the international IPY science communication committees and networks.  Please contact Jenny Baeseman ( or Dave Carlson ( for additional information.

4) APECS Update

In March, APECS launched the new APECS Working Group Programme, allowing all APECS members to come up with a project idea, find colleagues with similar interests and create a working group to make this idea into something that can help shape the future of polar research. Four working groups have been formed so far: the Acronym and Definition Database Working Group, the Mentorship Programme Working Group, the Virtual Poster Session Working Group and a working group on “Climate change answers”. For more information please visit

The Polar Policy Listserv was just established to help people from various disciplines discuss issues in political science, governance, law, international relations and all fields in between. Please visit for more information.

The APECS Mentorship Programme is attracting more and more mentors. This programme provides a great opportunity for experienced researchers and polar professionals to connect with their early-career counterparts. It also enables APECS members to seek advice and career guidance from people in their field and broaden their international connections. For information on this initiative, and to sign up as a mentor, please visit

APECS has relaunched its Field Schools Network website in an effort to share field school opportunities with APECS members. It also provides a platform to share experiences, feedback and photos from previous APECS participants for those who are considering attending a field school. More information can be found on

Successful APECS Virtual Poster Session calls were held in March and April focusing on social sciences as well as education and outreach. The next call is planned for the end of May, with glaciology as a topic. For more information about the Virtual Poster Session calls, please visit

The Arctic Science Summit Week 2010 in Nuuk (Greenland) in April was attended by Jenny Baeseman and Gerlis Fugmann. The flight chaos in Europe due to the volcanic eruption in Iceland turned this meeting into a very unusual experience for all participants. The mentorship from senior polar professionals to the 4 young researchers, 3 of whom were ‘stuck’ was absolutely incredible and we are very appreciative of their efforts to include us in this very important meeting.

APECS, and young polar researchers everywhere, are excited about the IPY Oslo Science Conference. There are many young researcher activities planned during the event so please visit for updates. 

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