Time to Eat the Dogs

On Science, History, and Exploration

Some Things I’ve Been Working On

Antarctica Icebound Ship

The fate of the Australasian Antarctica Expedition — still stranded in pack ice off the coast of Antarctica — got me thinking about the value of reenacting expeditions. I wrote an opinion piece on the subject for National Geographic. Getting trapped in pack ice isn’t always a bad idea. In 1895, Fridjof Nansen intentionally sailed his ship Fram into the polar pack ice in hopes of reaching the North Pole. While he fell short, he achieved a new “Farthest North.” I will be speaking about this subject on an episode of Mysteries at the Museum, airing on 2 January at 9pm (EST).

I have two longer pieces just out in edited collections: one reassessing the life of notorious North Pole explorer Frederick Cook in North by Degree: New Perspectives on Arctic Exploration, and another reflecting on the long relationship between “Science and Exploration” in Reinterpreting Exploration: The West in the World.

Last year, I helped the curators at the Barnum Museum in Bridgeport CT identify an old sleeping bag in their collection — one that is connected to the rescue of Greely and six of his men in 1884. I’ll be giving a public talk about the subject “The Greely Expedition: A Tale of Triumph and Tragedy in the Arctic.” at the Barnum on 23 February at 2pm. 

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  Mike Howe wrote @

Sounds fascinating I’d love to hear your talk, but alas. I read the book of Nansens expedition on Fram, amazing account of a harrowing adventure

  Patricia Millar wrote @

I am interested in your 2013 reappraisal of Frederick Cook. The book doesn’t seem to be in Australia yet. Is there any way I can view your chapter, rather than waiting for the book to come out here?

  Michael Robinson wrote @

Hi Patricia,

I’m attaching the chapter, along with the cover and table of contents. Let me know if you have any problems opening them.

best, Michael

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