Degree Name

Master of Arts


Department of Science and Technology Studies


This examination of the evolution of postwar policies for Australian Antarctic science argues that an implicit science policy, administered and controlled by a scientific elite, preceded the explicit Antarctic science policies of the last decade. This scientific elite managed the direction and content of Antarctic science by emphasizing Antarctic research goals in terms of professional autonomy and independence from political objectives. It is revealed that changes in the Australian government's political perception of Antarctic issues parallel changes in the elite's strategies for and ideology of Antarctic science.

The nature of Antarctic science and its relation to policy is analysed on two levels. The first level examines the social organization of Antarctic research with reference to professional and peer relations of Antarctic scientists and the internal organizational structure of the Antarctic Division. The second level places Antarctic science policy within its political environment and discusses the extent to which scientists should control decision-making regarding scientific activity undertaken in the Australian Antarctic Territory. The conclusion suggests an alternative model for the formation of Antarctic science policy based on utilizing more non-scientific representatives in the regulatory and policy-making process.