The Best Journey in the World: Recounting a Quarter-Century of Travels to Antarctica

Document Type


Publication Date

Winter 2-10-2021


Antarctica, climate change, science, penguins


Astrophysicist France Córdova will recount highlights from four trips to Antarctica and the South Pole between 1996 and 2020 on behalf of the U.S. Government. She will show us what it’s like to visit (and find adventure) in Antarctica, and describe the nature of the science conducted in various locations there. The talk includes photos and videos of the “crystal desert,” remote research sites and scientific facilities, the huts of the early 20th century Antarctica explorers, and the noisy penguin rookeries. She will end with a discussion of policy imperatives for the continent.

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France Córdova is the immediate past Director of the National Science Foundation, former president of Purdue, former chancellor of UC Riverside, former chair of the Smithsonian Institution’s Board of Regents, the first woman NASA Chief Scientist, and has a Nunatak named for her. She is a Kilby Laureate and has received the Kennedy-Lemass medal from Ireland and the Bernardo O’Higgins medal from Chile. France has a BA from Stanford University and PhD from Caltech.