Synopses & Reviews
Since the first attempts by Europeans to penetrate Greenland's interior in the 18th century, its geometric center, Eismitte ("middle ice" in German), has been one of the most forbidding but scientifically rich locations in the Arctic. Tracing its history from European contact through to the Cold War, this study shows how Eismitte was a setting for scientific knowledge production as well as diplomatic maneuvering, providing new insights into the history of polar exploration and the intertwining of the scientific and geopolitical spheres. Author Janet Martin-Nielsen draws on new research in private, government, military, and institutional archives in multiple countries to explain how this very remote place became a highly charged site of collaboration, contestation, and competition.
'Greenland is all over the news these days. But, until you've read this path-breaking book on its under-studied history of science and politics, you cannot understand the world's largest island or appreciate its central place in climate change research and debates. Drawing on painstaking research in multiple languages on two continents, Martin-Nielsen has produced an innovative, elegantly written, highly accessible book that tells a riveting story not only of science and politics, but also of the real people doing science—as well as heroic exploration, sub-zero camping, dangerous weasel driving, and Cold War politicking—in one of Earth's most inhospitable places.' - Mark Carey, author of In the Shadow of Melting Glaciers: Climate Change and Andean Society 'This book is a resounding success. Its virtues are many. It provides a broad, thoroughly researched account of science in Greenland, which we have been lacking. It gives this account not through a linear history which would have been tedious, but through a particular theoretical and geographical lens: that of a single place. Still, from that place Janet Martin-Nielsen makes broad outlooks to give interesting and important side stories of the many dimensions, political, military, scientific, technological, emerging environmental (climate) without which there had been no science and no installations at Eismitte." - Sverker Sörlin, Professor of Environmental History, Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden
Since the 18th century, Greenland's geometric center, Eismitte, has been one of the most forbidding but scientifically rich locations in the Arctic. Tracing its history from European contact through the Cold War, this study shows how Eismitte was the setting for scientific knowledge production as well as diplomatic maneuvering.
About the Author
Janet Martin-Nielsen is a Postdoctoral Fellow at Aarhus University's Centre for Science Studies, Denmark. She has a PhD from the University of Toronto's Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology, Canada. Her work has appeared in Annals of Science, the Journal of Historical Geography, History of the Human Sciences, and the Journal for the History of the Behavioral Sciences.
Table of Contents
Introduction: The Edge of the World, the End of the World1. A Land Apart2. Taming the Ice Sheet3. The Longest Trek4. It Has Completely ChangedEpilogue: A Conspicuous Absence