Arctic science, Arctic policy and Arctic politics
by Kenn Nakata-Steffensen via cultural meanings blog
On the 1st and 2nd of June 2009 the Royal Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science held a discussion meeting entitled “New frontiers in science diplomacy”. On 2nd June 2009 the first afternoon session was dedicated to environmental security in the Arctic. The title was “Environmental security: Poles apart?” The session was chaired by Dr. Jim McQuaid FREng and the three speakers were Professor Howard Alper of the Canadian Science, Technology and Innovation Council, the British Liberal Democrat MEP Diana Wallis, and Professor Paul Berkman of the newly formed Arctic Oceans Geopolitics Group at Cambridge University’s Scott Polar Research Institute. On the same day an historic landslide election was held in Greenland, in which Siumut, the dominant social democratic party for three decades, was swept out of power by the left-wing nationalist Inuit Ataqatigiit on a wave of popular discontent. Much was said about policy at the meeting in London, but no mention was made of the election or of politics, and the inhabitants of the Arctic were only mentioned in passing.