Magga Dan at the ice edge Fuchs and Hillary at the South Pole Fuchs at Scott Base Sir Vivian Fuchs


The FIDS Scientific Bureau

London Office, Crown Agents, was responsible for supplies, equipment and recruitment for the Falkland Islands Dependencies Survey. Returning to Britain from the Antarctic in 1950, Vivian Fuchs was appointed Principal Scientific Officer for the FIDS and set up another office in London, the FIDS Scientific Bureau.

Fuchs's brief was to interview scientists returning from the Antarctic, organise where and how they should write up their research, and make arrangements for publishing the research and distributing specimens collected. Inevitably these duties grew rapidly and before long the new office was well established and fulfilling many more duties than the Survey had anticipated.

Fuchs worked in conjunction with the independent logistics operation based in the Falkland Islands and with a UK Scientific Committee, working to political and scientific objectives with a split command that made life difficult. However, Fuchs persevered and in 1953 the life of the Bureau was extended for a further three years and it became an integral part of the FIDS.

The second half of the 1950s and into the 1960s was a peak period in British Antarctic affairs. The International Geophysical Year (IGY) in 1957 - 58 brought an unprecedented number of scientists to the Antarctic, and in 1956 the Royal Society established a scientific station at Halley Bay. In 1955 - 56 the Falkland Islands Dependencies Aerial Survey Expedition (FIDASE) was launched, and in 1958 the Commonwealth Trans-Antarctic Expedition (TAE) under Fuchs's leadership accomplished the first land crossing of the Antarctic.

Links | Search | Site Map | Contact
© 2004 Fuchs Archives Ltd.