Embracing change

Posted on the 12.11.2017 by Alain Hubert

I am so happy to return here, after a very long absence that was out of my hands, or one might say because my hands were tied behind my back.

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As you may know, things are complicated in Belgium and take time to sort out. But I finally have some great news to share. The highest Court in Belgium has ruled in the favor of the International Polar Foundation, and the Council of State has annulled all illegal actions of the Belgian State against me and the International Polar Foundation.

What does this mean? Well, it means that this long and difficult chapter concerning the dispute over the management and operation of Princess Elisabeth Antarctica Research Station has come to a close, or one might say, has turned a page. I have recently shaken hands with Zuhal Demir, Belgian Federal Secretary of State for Science Policy on a new agreement to reset Princess Elisabeth on a positive course for collaborative international scientific research in Antarctica.

A New Partnership

When Minister Zuhal Demir came to power earlier this year, she quickly saw the need for reconciliation and a new partnership so that the important scientific work carried out at Princess Elisabeth could re-launch with new vigor. The Secretary of State was able to break the dead-lock,  and a new and constructive solution was found that resolved this unnecessary conflict. This re-established partnership once again places Belgium at the forefront of science in Antarctica.

2017-2018 Scientific Expedition

Me and my crew are now waiting in Cape Town for our flight to Antarctica. We will be very busy getting the station ready for an exciting new season of science. Fifteen scientific research projects are planned and twenty-five scientists from a dozen countries will be soon on their way.

So stay tuned for more news about our work, the reconstruction of the technical facilities, the scientists and their research during the 2017-2018 expedition to Princess Elisabeth Antarctica!