The Magazine of the PAS – special edition 1/3/2017

The polar regions are extraordinary, magical places. They are cold, windy, inaccessible, ice-clad for most of the year, and yet still teeming with life. What is it about them that attracts so many enthusiasts, scientists, and people willing to spend months there? 100 years of Polish polar research, described by: Prof. Piotr Głowacki, Asst. Prof. Robert Bialik, Prof. Jacek Jania, Agnieszka Kruszewska, MS, Asst. Prof. Agnieszka Skorupa, Asst. Prof. Michał Łuszczuk, Dagmara Bożek-Andryszczak, MA, Piotr Andryszczak, ME.

We learn about the Polish Polar Station in Hornsund on Spitsbergen from Prof. Piotr Głowacki, who headed the PAS Institute of Geophysics’ Department of Polar Research for 15 years.

Asst. Prof. Robert Bialik, head  of the Department of Antarctic Biology  at the PAS Institute of Biochemistry and Biophysics,  talks about the Henryk Arctowski Polish Antarctic Station on King George Island

Why do we study the polar regions of the Earth? For the same reason a mountaineer climbs mountains: “Because they are there!” And in addition, they are of great importance to the entire planet and to our country.

The successful integration of the polar research community in Poland – through collaboration between  the PAS Committee on Polar Research, the Polish Polar Consortium and the Polar Studies Centre – has led  to the development of a Polish Polar Research Strategy, setting forth a set of directions for the future.

Asst. Prof. Agnieszka Skorupa from the University of Silesia discusses the psychological consequences of a prolonged stay at a polar station.

For many people, the Arctic is not just a place to visit for various reasons, but actually their home. As such, polar research can study not only the importance of the Arctic and Antarctic for the world at large, but also what the world can do to help those who live and work there.

We had not always dreamed of becoming polar explorers.  It was through pure chance, and a bit of courage,  that we became the first married couple to spend winters  at both of Poland’s polar stations. 

We talk to Roman Topór-Mądry, MD, chairman of the PAS Committee on Public health, and Tomasz Zdrojewski, MD, from the Jagiellonian University’s Public Health Institute, coauthors of the first Report on Diabetes in Poland, about counting the number of diabetics and data-gathering techniques.

We talk to Dr. Krzysztof Strojek from the Silesian Center for Heart Diseases, co-author of the first Report on Diabetes in Poland, about diagnosing diabetes, access to specialists, and the role of sugar in the development of diabetes.

Over the last 20 years, Polish society’s attitude towards people with disabilities has changed for the better. However, we still have not completely rid ourselves of prejudices, fears, and stereotypes.

We talk to Dr. Mikołaj Kunicki, an Oxford historian specializing in twentieth-century Central and Eastern Europe, about the past and present of Polish nationalism.

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