Journalist and broadcaster Alok Jha talks to leading explorers, scientists, conservationists and artists about Antarctica’s fascinating past, present and future, to discover why the icy continent matters to us all.
Created by the UK Antarctic Heritage Trust to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the first sighting of Antarctica. UKAHT champions public understanding of, and engagement with Antarctica through the history of human endeavour in the region. UKAHT looks after British historic sites and artefacts in Antarctica and invests in global public programmes and education enabling more people to discover, understand, value and protect this stunning and important part of our planet. The podcast is part of the UKAHT's ‘Antarctica In Sight’ programme, supported by Arts Council England, the Garfield Western Foundation and the Foreign and Commonwealth Development Office.
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From Seals to Stormzy
36:17In the final episode of series 2, Alok Jha talks to Polar Conservationist and explorer Prem Gill to find out what Antarctic seals and Grime music have in common. Prem is a PhD candidate leading the "Seals from Space" project with the Scott Polar Research Institute, British Antarctic Survey & World Wildlife Fund, and a researcher working on Frozen Planet. Outside of this, Prem is interested in increasing opportunities for underrepresented and disadvantaged groups in polar and conservation science. As the founder of Polar Impact and British Antarctic Survey’s Diversity Champion, he has used his research to spearhead projects which attract and retain talent from non-traditional backgrounds. Additional music featured in this episode is by Marzmanj. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Songs From the Deep
31:11Alok Jha talks to the award-winning writer Philip Hoare about his life-long love for and obsession with whales and their history in Antarctica. Philip’s numerous books include Leviathan or, The Whale, which won the 2009 BBC Samuel Johnson Prize, and has been published all over the world. It was followed by The Sea Inside (2013) and RISINGTIDEFALLINGSTAR (2017).His latest book, Albert & the Whale, is published by 4th Estate in the UK. Philip wrote and presented the BBC Arena film The Hunt for Moby-Dick, and directed three short films for BBC’s Whale Night. He is co-curator of the Moby-Dick and Ancient Mariner ‘Big Reads’, and is professor of creative writing at the University of Southampton.Special thanks to The Dominica Sperm Whale Project for providing recordings of sperm whales for this episode. http://www.thespermwhaleproject.org See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
32:06Alok Jha talks to Dr Kelly Hogan, a Marine Geophysicist at the British Antarctic Survey to find out what studying the remains of ancient ice sheets in Antarctica can tell us about climate change and the future of the planet. Kelly works on research vessels around Antarctica, looking for clues about how ancient ice sheets flowed and eventually receded back towards land but also what caused the ice to shrink.In addition to more than 10 trips to the Arctic, Kelly has been on 5 research cruises to Antarctica. Her most recent trips have been to study Thwaites Glacier. New research has revealed huge channels underneath the glacier, which funnel in warm ocean water towards it, and could speed up the melting of the glacier. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
The White Continent? - Part One
37:19In part 1 of this special two part episode, Alok Jha talks to polar explorer Dwayne Fields: the first black Briton to walk 400 miles to the magnetic North Pole, in 2010.Born in Jamaica, Dwayne came to the UK at age of six. In his youth, he was a victim of knife and gun crime and as a result of his experiences, decided to change his life and become an explorer. He’s lived a life of adventure, inspiring young people nationwide to explore the ‘great outdoors’ – wherever that may be. He is currently planning two trips to Antarctica with his expedition partner Phoebe Smith and their #WeTwo foundation, including taking a group of under-privileged young people to Antarctica in 2021 on a specially chartered expedition ship.Dwayne has been awarded the ‘The Freedom of the City of London’ by the Lord Mayor, for his work with young people. He’s an Ambassador for the Scout Association, the National Trust, the Woodland Trust, Ordnance Survey and a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
The White Continent? - Part Two
35:50In part 2 of The White Continent? Alok Jha delves further into Antarctica’s colonial history with historian Dr Ben Maddison, to discover some untold stories of the continent. Ben’s book Class and Colonialism in Antarctic Exploration looks at the the discovery of Antarctica ‘from below’, focusing on the sailors, sealers, whalers, cooks and engineers, who were all essential in bringing the upper-class ‘hero explorers’ to the continent and supporting their expeditions. He is currently writing A History of the Southern Ocean, gazing out on his subject matter from Bruny Island, Tasmania, where he lives. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
To Antarctica and Beyond
34:53Alok Jha goes to Antarctica and far beyond with space plasma physicist Dr Suzie Imber. Suzie is Associate Professor in Space Physics at the University of Leicester. She’s currently involved in the BepiColombo mission to Mercury, which launched in 2018, and will go into orbit around Mercury in December 2025. She’s also a high altitude mountaineer: Since 2014 she’s teamed up with highly-acclaimed mountaineer Maximo Kausch, firstly to discover and then to climb dozens of the most remote mountains on the planet.And, in 2017, Suzie was the winner of BBC2’s Astronauts: Do You Have What it Takes? After being put through her paces by Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield, she now has his backing for her application to the European Space Agency’s call for new astronauts. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
36:15Alok Jha talks to legendary explorer Felicity Aston about what endurance means to her. In 2012, Felicity became the first woman to ski solo across the Antarctic landmass, a journey of over 1000 miles that took her 59 days and earned her a place in the Guinness Book of World Records. Felicity has gone on to organise and lead numerous expeditions to remote places around the world, but particularly to the Polar Regions. Her expeditions have included the first British Women’s crossing of Greenland, a 6000km drive to the South Pole and leading international teams of women on ski expeditions to both the North and South Poles.She has been appointed MBE for services to polar exploration and awarded the Polar Medal for services to the Arctic and Antarctic. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Season 2 Trailer
3:03In the second season of this podcast from the UK Antarctic Heritage Trust, we’ll be delving further into the extraordinary human stories of the wildest, windiest place on our planet. We’ll hear from explorers, scientists and writers who’ve built their lives around this incredible continent. Our guests include explorers Felicity Aston and Dwayne Fields, writer Philip Hoare and space scientist Suzie Imber. Together, we’ll uncover untold histories, and gain insight into the cutting-edge research happening here, on the front-line in the fight against climate change. All from the people who’ve been there and make it happen. We hope that, like us, you’ll come to understand just how much Antarctica matters to us all. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
The Future of Antarctica
27:01In the final episode of the series, Alok Jha talks to Professor Klaus Dodds about Antarctica’s unique geopolitical position, The Antarctic Treaty, Antarctica’s potentially precarious future and what we can all do to protect it. Klaus Dodds is Professor of Geopolitics at Royal Holloway, University of London and a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences. His many books and articles have been concerned with the geopolitics and governance of the Polar Regions as well as the cultural politics of ice. These include: The Scramble for the Poles, Ice: Nature and Culture and The Arctic: What Everyone Needs to Know. He has visited Antarctica four times and also travelled extensively in the Arctic. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Antarctica in Mind
21:50In this penultimate episode, Alok Jha talks with contemporary artists Peter Liversidge, Lucy Orta and Marc Rees to find out how Antarctica has inspired them in their work, and why the icy continent has been a particularly inspiring place for so many artists, even before the first sighting 200 years ago. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.