IASC 25 years - Page 31

1.4 the relationship between IASC’s science activities IASC Reviews and international science programs; 4) determine whether the volume and balance of IASC’s programs The IASC Founding Articles called for a review five are adequate to meet the perceived needs of the years after IASC was founded. It was later agreed to natural and human sciences; 5) assess the ability of continue regular reviews. IASC to respond to requests for scientific advice; 6) 1.4.1 examine the effectiveness of all other components by which IASC delivers its mission.” This was quite a task, but the team felt they could provide a useful The 1995-1996 Review of IASC David J. Drewry (Chair of the Review Group) Reviewer: Jörn Thiede canvas on which to paint IASC’s future scenes. At an early gathering, it was decided that it was vital to canvas the opinions of the Arctic science In 1995, IASC had been operating for barely five constituency. There were people who had taken years, so it was surprising that a decision was made an early interest in IASC and its various projects, to review its activities and performance. This was but it was recognized that there were many oth- in part the result of the phenomenal development ers in universities and government organizations, of its work, driven principally by its Executive Secre- in commercial enterprises, NGOs, and indigenous tary, Odd Rogne. The IASC Council must have spot- peoples associations that were keenly interested ted a naive candidate when, attending the Council in the science agenda but had little awareness of for the first time, I was asked to chair the review. To IASC. It was agreed that a questionnaire should be be fair, I was not too upset since I had been follow- circulated as widely as possible and a good deal of ing the progress of IASC since 1990. Moreover, the the thinking should be based on the replies. At that selection of the other members of the review group time, I was Deputy Chief Executive of the UK Nat- brought a breadth of experience and knowledge of ural Environment Research Council and had access Arctic scientific affairs, including Anders Karlqvist to staff assistance. I therefore seconded one of from Sweden, Vladimir Kotlyakov from Russia, Bar- my team to work on the preparation of the Ques- rie Maxwell from Canada, Jens-Peder Hart-Hansen tionnaire. The questions were designed around the from Denmark and Claude Lorius from France. That Terms of Reference of the Review and approved by there were three glaciologists on the team failed the Review Group. About 450 questionnaires were to cool their enthusiasm for the task! Furthermore, sent out to addresses provided by the IASC Secre- three of the members also had considerable experi- tariat and from the successful ICARP I. These were ence working in Antarctica and with its coordinating supplemented by a variety of other minor inputs. organizations, which provided a useful comparative Approximately 30% of the questionnaires were perspective. Indeed, Lorius had recently been the returned; for such a survey this is considered a rea- SCAR President and I had not long before stepped sonable outcome. The comments on the returned down as the Chair of the Council of Managers of questionnaires were probably the most valuable, as National Antarctic Programs (COMNAP). participants commented freely on their perceptions of the organization. I T