Shackleton's Legacy

A Joint Meeting of The South Georgia Association & Friends of the Scott Polar Research Institute to commemorate the centenary of Endurance’s visit to South Georgia, held at the Scott Polar Research Institute on the 8th November 2014.

Shackleton's Legacy

The extraordinary rescue of the crew of Endurance from the Weddell Sea has been told many times. "Shackleton’s Legacy" examined, instead, the achievements of Shackleton and his men, and demonstrated the subsequent development in leadership skills, Antarctic science and expedition techniques.

The meeting was a great success with over 100 people attending. Where available, summaries of talks are provided as PDF files.


09:30Coffee & Registration
10:15Welcome & IntroductionDavid Drewry
10:30Shackleton’s Leadership Skills
What were Shackleton's characteristics as a leader and why are they relevant today? How Shackleton is used as a paradigm in a leadership course for a hi-tech company.
Susan Blow
Thought Support
11:00The Shackleton Challenge
The Shackleton Challenge introduces transitional skills relating to leadership, group work, self-directed research/development and project management to students. It involves local business and civic organisations in mentoring.
Kevin Kenny
Shackleton Autumn School, Athy
11:30Choosing a Team: Men wanted for Hazardous Journey
Shackleton used unconventional means for choosing his expedition members. How are applicants selected for Antarctic service today?
John Hall
Head of Operations & Logistics, British Antarctic Survey
Antarctic science
12:00Antarctic sea ice – has it changed?
Shackleton's optimism about disembarking at the head of the Weddell Sea was clearly misplaced. Yet similar problems are encountered by ships supplying Weddell Sea stations today. The surprising conclusion is how little has changed in Antarctic sea ice.
Peter Wadhams
Head of the Polar Ocean Physics Group, University of Cambridge
12:30Meteorological observations from Endurance – was the weather unusual?
Nowadays, satellites and ground stations give a comprehensive view of the weather and climate of the Weddell Sea. The Endurance set of observations will be examined to determine if the weather conditions experienced that year were exceptional.
John King
Science Leader, British Antarctic Survey
13:00Buffet Lunch
14:00Shackleton's Emperors
Fledgling emperor penguins were sighted off Endurance but no one realised they indicated a breeding colony nearby. Colonies are now discovered by satellite imagery.
Peter Fretwell
Geographic Information Assistant, British Antarctic Survey
14:30Shackleton’s geologists and the dawn of plate tectonics
Awareness that South Georgia was 'different' from other oceanic islands permeates the work of Shackleton's colleagues, like James Wordie who lost all his rock specimens when Endurance sank but whose views have been vindicated by modern research.
David Macdonald
Professor of Petroleum Geology, University of Aberdeen
15:00Shackleton's Invertebrates
Shackleton's expeditions collected invertebrates – and he joined in. The collections are compared with modern knowledge.
Bill Block
Emeritus Fellow, British Antarctic Survey
Expedition techniques
15:30Frank Worsley and the Art of Navigation
Frank Worsley's extraordinary skill with a sextant brought the James Caird to South Georgia. His technique is compared with modern navigation by GPS.
Skip Novak
Pelagic Expeditions
16:00Expedition Nutrition – avoiding starvation
Shackleton's sledge rations were advanced for their time but they were inadequate when compared with modern expedition rations.
Bob Burton
South Georgia Association
16:30Closing remarks.Nick Lambert
17:15AGM of the Friends of SPRI

© South Georgia Association, 2009