RCN Awards Major Grant to the Barents Institute

The Research Council of Norway Decides to Fund the EUROCORES Programme BOREAS
Following the meeting of the Division for Science of the Research Council of Norway on 14th of April 2005 the Executive Director of the Division on 11th of August 2006 decided to fund the project CRP 008 I IP 002: ”Colony, Empire, Environment (CEE): A Comparative International History of 20th Century Arctic Science.” Principal Investigator: Dr Urban Wråkberg, Barents Institute, Kirkenes.
After international review this programme was ranked among the top three among those proposed to the European Science Foundation: Eurocores Programme BOREAS: Histories from the North - environments, movements, narratives. In addition to Wråkberg the CEE network members are: Principal Leader Professor Ronald Doel, Oregon State University Corvallis (USA); Dr. Christopher Ries, Natural History Museum Copenhagen (Denmark); Prof. Sverker Sörlin, Royal Institute of Technology (Sweden); Prof. Susanne Zeller, Wilfried Laurier University Waterloo (Canada); Dr. Michael Bravo, University of Cambridge (UK); Prof. Robert Friedman, University of Oslo (Norway); Dr Karin Granqvist, University of Tromsø (Norway); Dr Julia Lajus, Russian Academy of Sciences, St. Petersburg (Russia).
The circumpolar North is widely seen as an observatory for changing relations between human societies and the environments. This region, which includes the Arctic and the Subarctic, has also moved to the centre of global debates on new post-cold-war partnerships and issues of post-colonial governance, strategy and regional sovereignty. Through its core focus on time, space, change and movement, BOREAS aims to bring commensurability to the time scales of geophysics, archaeology and lived human experience. It will analyse how seasonality and climate change drive the high level of human and animal movement and create highly integrated zones of contacts. It will explore local perceptions of environmental, cultural, social and economic change, thereby facilitating dialogue between local and scientific models. BOREAS as a coordinated programme of research on the North will enable the humanities to collaborate more effectively and offers synergies between social, natural and medical sciences. This is the first circumpolar initiative in the humanities, with innovative collaboration between Europe, the US, Canada and Russia. This programme is further described on the Institute web pages presenting on-going research.

Julia Lajus, Sverker Sörlin, Ron Doel and Christopher Ries during the BOREAS welcome dinner at New Hall, Queen's College, Cambridge in October 2006.
Photo: Urban Wråkberg.
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