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When Science Came to the Arctic: Constantine Phipps’s Expedition to Spitsbergen in 1773
Telemark University College, Norway.
2008 (English)In: Journal of Northern Studies, ISSN 1654-5915, no 2, 77-91 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The article discusses Constantine Phipps’s expedition to Spitsbergen in 1773 and the extent to which it may be regarded as introducing a new and scientific discourse with respect to the Arctic. Phipps appears to be the first Arctic explorer who comes to the region with a modern, scientific mind, and the first to fully reflect a scientific approach to it in the report he writes and publishes on his return. Thus, although the background of the expedition was political and strategic, he may be said to have pioneered a view of the Arctic as being above narrow, nationalist interests. Similarly, it is argued that Phipps’s scientific approach paradoxically also heralds the aesthetic dimension of the Romantic period in the region. The article also compares Phipps’s expedition with those of Captain Cook, which were taking place at the same time.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå University & The Royal Skyttean Society , 2008. no 2, 77-91 p.
Keyword [en]
Arctic, Spitsbergen, Svalbard, science, north, Constantine Phipps, Joseph Banks, eighteenth century
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-43270OAI: diva2:412660
Available from: 2011-05-03 Created: 2011-04-26 Last updated: 2011-05-03Bibliographically approved

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