IASC & IASSA Workshop Gender in Polar Research

29 March 2022 from 14:00 - 18:00 (CEST / GMT+2)

Open meeting - HYBRID


Room:  2.006


Session Abstract

This IASC-WG-cross-cutting workshop organised by the IASSA Working Group Gender in the Arctic is a first and unique attempt to bring together the natural sciences, the social sciences and the humanities in order to discuss and reflect on the gendered nature of Polar research. The workshop addresses three urgent issues (see more details below):

  1. Doing science in the 21st century in a way that departs from but also pays careful attention to the history of exploration and colonial endeavours as “heroic” and masculine activities – while a masculine image still seems to dominate the methodologies and practices of Arctic and Polar research.
  2. The still existing gender gap when it comes to female researchers in hard sciences, their career prospects, and their sometimes difficult working conditions as women in the field. Critiques of the gender gap and gendered research work have thus far neglected the diversity aspects of queer and gender minority (LGBTQI) researchers. They face particular challenges whíle working in a still largely heteronormative research environment as it is described for research stations, vessels or tundra/taiga camps.
  3. The gendered composition of researchers as actors and the gendered spaces of conducting research, including the field sites, have an imporant impact on research interests, research design, research ethics and epistemology. The gender bias affects the research subject and methodology, and Polar research can learn from and communicate with other fields of science about how to ensure a high standard of equality, sensitivity to issues of marginalization, and ethical production of science.

Bearing these three avenues in mind – the heroic and masculine past of Arctic research, the situation of women, queer and gender or other (race, disability, age etc) minority researchers in the field, and the question of how research interests and epistemologies are shaped by gendered and intersectional conditions – this cross-cutting IASC workshop will facilitate an interdisciplinary dialogue.


Session Organizer: 

Gertrude Saxinger  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
J. Otto Habeck  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.