Academy History – Founding the Polar Academy

The Norwegian Scientific Academy for Polar Research was founded in Oslo on March 27th 2008 by 11 Norwegian polar researchers, all professors. The first elected board consists of professor Ola M. Johannessen, Nansen Centre and University of Bergen (President), professor Willy Østreng, Centre for Advanced Study at the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters (Vice-president), professor Rolf Langvatn, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, professor Gudmund Hernes, FAFO/Norwegian School of Management, and managing director Gunnar Sand, The University Centre in Svalbard (Secretary General).

The Mission of the Scientific Academy is to:

  • Promote research and education in Polar Regions.
  • Stimulate national and international cooperation and multi-disciplinary polar research.
  • Contribute to scientific knowledge about the Polar Regions and their inhabitants and outreach to national and international decision makers, business and the public.
  • Contribute to the understanding of environment- and climate changes and human activities that are affected and are impacted by these.
  • Encourage sustainable development on Svalbard and in the Northern regions.
  • Contribute to increase the competence at the University Centre in Svalbard and in the polar research community in general.

Academy members must have a distinguished career in polar research or in other ways contributed to the advancement of polar research.

The Academy will function as a contact organisation for research in the Arctic and Antarctic and between foreign academies and international scientific organisations.

The Founding Members of the Polar Academy

The following individuals, all professors and members of other scientific academies, took the initiative to establish the Norwegian Scientific Academy for Polar Research on March 27th 2008:

Bo Andersen, managing director, Norwegian Space Centre
Asgeir Brekke, professor, University of Tromsø
Alv Egeland, professor emeritus, University of Oslo
Gudmund Hernes, professor, FAFO/Norwegian School of Management
Ola M. Johannessen, professor, Nansen Centre/University of Bergen
Rolf Langvatn, professor, Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Sveinung Løset, professor, Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Jøran Moen, professor, University of Oslo
Ivar B. Ramberg, professor emeritus, University of Oslo
Olaf I. Rønning, professor emeritus, Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Willy Østreng, professor, Centre for Advanced Study

Picture from the founding meeting: Below Fridtjof Nansen, from left: Professor emeritus Alv Egeland (UiO), managing director Gunnar Sand (UNIS), professor Rolf Langvatn (NTNU), professor Gudmund Hernes (FAFO/BI), professor emeritus Ivar B. Ramberg (UiO), professor Willy Østreng (Centre for Advanced Study) and professor Ola M. Johannnessen (Nansen Centre/UiB)