The Wheeler Centre
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Antarctica and the Climate with Chris Turney
Antarctica holds valuable clues to understanding the future of our planet – especially regarding the implications of climate change. It is also a continent unwilling to give up those secrets readily.
There are few as cognisant of both truths as earth scientist Chris Turney. In 2013, a century after Douglas Mawson’s pioneering scientific expedition across the continent, Turney led a follow-up journey, with a view to recording how Antarctica’s climate had changed over the intervening years. Less than a month after setting sail, the boat was trapped in ice, along with its crew and 52 passengers – including Turney and his immediate family. The costly rescue mission garnered international headlines, and ignited a debate about what constitutes acceptable risk in the pursuit of scientific knowledge.
Join Professor Turney as he explores the past, present and future of Antarctica – a continent that acutely bears the impacts of our changing climate – and relives the expedition that inadvertently sent him following the fateful path of Ernest Shackleton, one of Antarctica’s unluckiest adventurers.
Note: Krystal Evans was to host this talk, but wasn't able to attend due to a personal matter. Amita Kirpalani, project producer at the Wheeler Centre, hosted in her place.
Australian earth scientist Chris Turney has written three books to critical acclaim – Bones, Rocks and Stars: The Science of When Things Happened; Ice, Mud and Blood: Lessons from Climates Past; and 1912: The Year the World Discovered Antarctica.
Turney is passionate about science communication, contributing to the New York Times, the Times and New Scientist, and has an international following on social media under the Intrepid Science moniker. He is currently Professor of Climate Change and Earth Sciences at the University of New South Wales.
Amita Kirpalani is a writer and curator. She writes regularly about contemporary art, and her work has appeared in publications such as Art Monthly and Art + Australia. She was previously editor of the arts review website, and is currently producing a podcast of longform interviews with contemporary artists.
Amita has held curatorial positions at CCAS, Gertrude Contemporary and ACMI. She was Projects Producer for the Wheeler Centre.