Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR)

Antarctica and the Southern Ocean play such an important role in the Earth system that Antarctic research is essential for ensuring a sustainable future. SCAR‘s vision is to lay the foundation for a better future through Antarctic research. Through scientific research and international collaboration, SCAR aims to achieve a comprehensive understanding of

  • the nature of Antarctica
  • the role of Antarctica in the Earth system
  • the nature and impacts of environmental change and human activities on Antarctica.

SCAR’s main objectives are to ensure that Antarctic research is effectively promoted and supported worldwide, and that its results are appropriately communicated to society and policy makers. To improve the flow of information to all interested researchers and policy makers and to promote inter- and transdisciplinary exchange, SCAR’s work in 2017 – 2022 will focus on five key areas:

  • To amplify its leadership in Antarctic research by further strengthening and expanding high-quality collaborative and visionary Antarctic research, including observations from Antarctica
  • To offer independent scientific advice to Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meetings and other bodies dealing with Antarctic and Southern Ocean matters
  • To enhance and grow research capacity in SCAR member countries
  • To enhance public awareness and understanding of Antarctic issues through communication of Antarctic research results in a timely and accessible manner
  • To facilitate unrestricted and free access to Antarctic research data.

Find the complete strategic plan of 2017-2022 here.
The SCAR – Newsletter informs about new activities.

Map of SCAR member countries from June 2021. Full Members are in dark blue, Associate Members in lighter blue. Image by

SCAR is an international non-governmental organization of the ISC family (ISC= International Science Council), and develops, coordinates, and promotes international research in Antarctica and the Southern Ocean, and in the role of Antarctica in the Earth system.

SCAR is also a scientific advisor to Antarctic Treaty Parties and other organizations such as UNFCCC and IPCC on science and conservation issues affecting Antarctica and the Southern Ocean.

Successful collaboration of Antarctic research began in the International Geophysical Year 1957/58. Subsequently, SCAR was founded in February 1958 to continue the collaboration with a permanent international forum.
The Federal Republic of Germany signed the Antarctic Treaty in February 1979 and has been a member of the Consultative Round since March 1981. SCAR recommendations become binding on member countries when they have been adopted by the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Round.

The organization is headed by the SCAR Executive Committee, which is chaired by SCAR President Dr. Yeadong Kim (South Korea) and Vice Presidents Prof. Jefferson Cardia Simões (Brazil), Prof. Deneb Karentz (USA), Dr. Gary Wilson (New Zealand) and Dr. M. Ravichandran (India). The SCAR Secretariat is located in the Scott Polar Research Institute in Cambridge, UK (Executive Director Dr. Chandrika Nath).

Image by Find the acronyms here.

As part of SCAR, there are:

SCAR holds an Open Science Conference every two years.
2004 Bremen, Germany
2006 Hobart, Tasmania/Australien
2008 Joint SCAR – IASC – IPY Open Science Conference, St. Petersburg, Russia
2010 Buenos Aires, Argentina
2012 Portland, Oregon, USA
2014 Auckland, New Zealand
2016 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
2018 Joint SCAR – IASC OSC (POLAR 2018), Davos, Switzerland
2020 Online due to the COVID-19 pandemic
2022 Online due to the COVID-19 pandemic (01.08 – 10.08.2022)