For as long as they can remember Jynne Martin and April Surgent had both dreamed of going to Antarctica. This winter, they each made it to the icy continent as guests of the National Science Foundation (NSF). But they didn’t go as scientists. Martin is a poet and Surgent is an artist. They went to Antarctica as participants in the NSF’s Artists and Writers program. The NSF is the government agency that funds scientific research in Antarctica. But it also makes it possible for artists, including filmmakers and musicians, to experience Antarctica and contribute their own points of view to our understanding of the continent.
The mixing of science and art in Antarctica isn’t new. Some of the earliest explorers brought along painters and photographers. Edward Wilson was a British painter, doctor, and bird expert who journeyed with Robert Falcon Scott on two separate Antarctic expeditions more than 100 years ago. Herbert Ponting was a photographer who also accompanied Scott on one of those expeditions. In hundreds of photos, Ponting captured the beauty of the continent and recorded the daily lives and heroic struggles of the explorers.
Today’s scientists write articles for scientific journals. Unlike the early explorers’ journals, scientific papers can now be very difficult for non-scientists to understand. Writers in Antarctica work to explain the research to the public. Peter Rejcek is editor, writer, and photographer for the Antarctic Sun, an online magazine devoted to news about the U.S. Antarctic Program. Rejcek began his career in the Antarctic in 2003 by spending a year at the South Pole. He has returned every year since, interviewing scientists about research at Palmer, McMurdo, and South Pole stations.
There are also scientists in Antarctica who work hard to explain their research to the public. Scientist Diane McKnight wrote The Lost Seal, a children’s book that explains the research she and others are doing in an unusual ice-free area in Antarctica called the Dry Valleys.
Antarctica is full of stories and wonders that are scientific, historical, and personal. People such as Martin, Surgent, Rejcek, and McKnight are devoted to bringing those stories to as many people as they can. “Some people are going to be scientists, some people are going to be journalists, some people are going to be artists, but we can all work together,” says Surgent, “to celebrate this extraordinary place.”
63. What do we know about the NSF?
A. It is a government agency.
B. It only funds scientists in Antarctica.
C. It encourages the understanding of human nature.
D. It enables the mixing of science and art for the first time.
64. Why didn’t some earliest explorers bring writers along?
A. Writers were not funded at that time.
B. Writing can’t capture the beauty of the continent.
C. Writers were not interested in popularizing science.
D. Early explorers’ journals can be easily understood by the public.
65. By mentioning Diane McKnight, the author may try to suggest that ______.
A. scientists should explain their research to children
B. writers are not necessary since scientists can tell stories as well
C. telling stories to children is more important than knowing the truth
D. no matter what role we play, we can work together to appreciate Antarctica
66. What would be the best title for this article?
A. Antarctica: A Land for All B. The NSF: A Program for All
C. Antarctica: A Land of Beauty and Stories D. The NSF: A Program for Artists and Scientists