As the Central Arctic Ocean’s ice melts, the Arctic region is attracting more and more attention from countries around the globe, including European states. To understand the risks and potentials of the Arctic ice melt, governments depend on scientific research. The more the Arctic becomes the focus of European and world-wide governments, economies and socio-cultural endeavours, the more the communicational infrastructure that carries scientific findings and knowledge on this region needs to be reliable and robust. This action aims to further a central element of this infrastructure—namely the scientific journal. This action approaches today’s scientific journals on Arctic research in a novel and innovative way: through the transnational study of historical scientific journals of the long nineteenth century (1789-1914). As human-made artefacts, science journals have mirrored political, economic and socio-cultural forces since their very beginnings—and this action’s aim is to investigate how exactly these forces have shaped editorial contents and contexts. More concretely, this is an investigation of both the editorial contexts and contents of articles related to the Arctic that appeared in scientific journals within the geographical area that today is home to Austria, the United Kingdom, Germany, Poland, Russia, Switzerland and the United States. If we understand how editorial processes formed earlier journal-based discourses on the Arctic, we can compare them to their counterparts of today, consider their strengths and weaknesses and take editorial action to bolster current scientific discourses on the north polar region. This action aims to do so by bringing together history of science, media history, Arctic research and historical geography. Moreover, by way of two strategic Secondments, the action seeks to translate its findings into practical commentary and editorial suggestions for today’s science journals on north polar research.
One of the great successes of the last-century physics was recognising that many complex and seemingly disparate many-particle systems are fundamentally alike. This allowed the classification of the equilibrium states of matter into universality classes, based on their basic properties such as symmetries and the form of the interparticle interactions. At the heart of this classification is the universal collective behaviour, insensitive to the microscopic details, displayed by systems close to phase transitions. A grand challenge for modern physics is to achieve such a feat for the far richer world of the non-equilibrium collective phenomena. In recent years, theories that posit universal features of far-from-equilibrium many-body dynamics, common to systems as diverse as quantum magnets and the quark-gluon plasma, have been receiving support from experiments on the highly tuneable ultracold atomic gases. Our ambition is to make a leading contribution to this worldwide effort, through a series of coordinated experiments on homogeneous atomic gases in two-dimensional (2D) ‘Flatland’ geometry. Specifically, we will study in parallel three paradigmatic problems – the dynamics of the topological Berezinskii-Kosterlitz-Thouless phase transition, turbulence in driven systems, and the universal spatiotemporal scaling behaviour in isolated quantum systems far from equilibrium. Each of these topics is fascinating and of fundamental importance in its own right, but beyond that we will experimentally establish an emerging picture that coherently connects them.