Imparting of Polar Research to the 1880’s Public


  • Reinhard Mook



Vitenskapshistorie, nordområdestudier, Polar Year,


The International Polar Year 1881/1882 marks a significant change in writing about the Arctic to the middle classes of central Europe. Up to that time many of these reports had been thrilling, dramatizing, and had glorified the own nation. Following the Polar Year, writing gradually became less emotional, more sober, induced by scientific standards. The present paper will call attention to that change.

The study is limited to quotations from two contributions printed in Die Gartenlaube, a German family-magazine edited in the years 1853 through 1944. With its six million readers in the 1880's, this magazine may be considered to mirror the tastes and interests of the broad German public. - The general shift in imparting Arctic topics to the public following the Polar Year could be shown on the 10 per cent significance level: That means the change in the attitude to report more matter-of-fact is significant with the probability of 10 per cent of accidentalness.

Author Biography

Reinhard Mook

Reinhard Mook, PhD in geophysics and meteorology from the University of Innsbruck, Austria, affiliated with the University of Tromsø, Norway, since 1972 (climate and demography), is now an independent consultant and researcher in applied meteorology.




How to Cite

Mook, Reinhard. 2008. “Imparting of Polar Research to the 1880’s Public”. Nordlit, no. 23 (February):172-82.