Although consensus is growing among scientists that global warming is affecting the Arctic, some members of the public are skeptical and suspect that scientists may be overstating the risks. Actually, the argument that global warming is untrue may never disprove scientific findings of the phenomena. But, there is a suspicion that scientists are overemphasizing the warming tendency. The things that researchers connected with the ArCS project should do for the public is to explain to them the real situation of the Arctic by interpreting data from multifarious points of view.
Meanwhile, as the country with the longest coastal border to the Arctic Sea, Russia is important in politics, the economy, and international relations in the Arctic. There are several scientific observation bases in this vast territory, and cooperation among researchers is essential. For this reason, it is important to deepen public understanding of the Russian Arctic.
Public Lecture series, “Russia and the Arctic Frontier: Possibilities and Problems of Development” was held in May at Hokkaido University. Seven lectures were delivered as part of the usual program of the Slavic-Eurasian Research Center, Hokkaido University, which has been continued since 1986 under the joint auspices of Sapporo City Educational Committee. The seven lectures focused on: economic development, the natural environment, the Northern Sea Route, languages of indigenous people, political diplomacy of indigenous people, the subsistence of indigenous people, and the management of stock raising. Members of ArCS presented most lectures.
Most of the 74 registrants attended all lectures, and we hope they were able to find deep connections between events in the Arctic and their everyday lives.
Masanori Goto (Hokkaido University / a member of Theme 7)