What do a sociologist from Russia, a biologist from Sweden and artist from the US all have in common? They are all a part of a group of 17 leaders in their fields who, over the next year and a half, will be expected to help demystify the Arctic.
(From The Arctic Journal / By Kevin McGwin)– The group, all citizens of Arctic countries, was selected last week as the inaugural participants in the Fulbright Arctic Initiative. Their participation will see them conducting research related to energy, water, health and infrastructure, in order to benefit the development of the region.
That description might sound like standard stuff among scholarship programmes, but getting so many talented people together in the same academic room gives the Fulbright Arctic Initiative the potential for something extra, says Ross Virginia, a polar scientist at Dartmouth College and one the initiative’s two co-ordinators.
“I think we will see magic happen,” Dr Virginia says. “The point of having people from such diverse backgrounds all working in the same area is to get something new out of them that they normally wouldn’t produce.”
The Arctic scholarship initiative is being conducted concurrently with the US chairmanship of the Arctic Council. In order to emphasise the connection it varies somewhat from the traditional individual Fulbright research programmes. In addition to its all-Arctic participation, participants will also be asked to work together to address issues that affect the region.
“This isn’t just 17 scholars working alone,” Dr Virginia says. “It’s a group of people from the Arctic drawing on each other to do work that matters for the people who live there.”
Just as the approach will be different, the research conducted by the Fulbright Arctic scholars will also seek to head off in a different direction than past research, which has tended to focus on climate and environmental issues. Among the research projects participants say they will conduct, a number look into economic, social and political issues, and, in some cases, merge several of them.
Read the full article here: http://arcticjournal.com/culture/1538/fulbright-puts-focus-arctic-research