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The Fram Museum lecture series on Nansen's life and work

This year’s number four Nansen lecture will take place on Wednesday the 23rd of November at six o’clock in the afternoon.



This time it is the young Brage Prize nominee and Nansen biographer Carl Emil Vogt who is given the floor. He will talk about the development of Nansen’s humanism and anti-imperialism. Nansen was a true spokesman of the Inuit after his stay in Greenland in the years 1888-89. This will be treated. Vogt will also talk about how Nansen evolved to become an active humanist. You will get a brief overview of Nansen’s three most important humanitarian commitments – for prisoners of war, for refugees and for the hunger-bitten. In addition, you will hear about some controversial aspects of his work for the poor and the hungry. The lecture will also touch Nansen’s private life and his engagement in the political movement called the Fedrelandslaget. You may be surprised to hear some of the things about Nansen that Carl Emil Vogt is going to claim. The lecturer will sign his book during the event. The Fram Museum’s book shop, which is probably the largest polar book shop in the world, will of course stay open after the event. Regular admission tickets: 60 NOK for adults, 25 for children, students and seniors.




The second lecture in the Fram Museum's lecture series on Fridtjof Nansen's life and work will be held at the Fram Museum on Tuesday 14 June at 18:30.

This time we present two lecturers. You will hear about Nansen's work for his doctorate in zoology and his days at the Bergen Museum. Furthermore, there will be a lecture on Nansen who, according to the speaker, should have received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1906.

Karen Helle: ”Fridtjof Nansen, Bergen Museum og doktorgraden 1882-1888”

Ortwin Bock: "Fridtjof Nansen, Gustaf Retzius and the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine of 1906"

Karen Helle is professor emeritus at the Department of Biomedicine, University of Bergen, and is currently active writing on science emanating from the Bergen Museum in the 19th century. In 1987 she organized the Nansen Symposium on New Concepts in Neuroscience in Bergen as a centenary commemoration of Fridtjof Nansen's contribution to neurobiology. A faximile of Fridtjof Nansen's doctoral thesis from the Bergen Museum's Årbok in 1887 in its original form ”The Structure and Combination of the Histological Elements of the Central Nervous System” was included in the symposium volume. Thereby, Fridtjof Nansen's impressive work and important and novel conclusions were secured a renewed circulation, of benefit for neuroscientists and biographers of today. Karen Helle will talk about Fridtjof Nansen's time in Bergen, culminating with his doctoral dissertation at the University in Oslo in 1888. Later in life Nansen repeatedly referred to his Bergen days as crucial for his personal development and preparation for his manifold endeavors later in life.

Ortwin Bock is a retired physician who lives in Cape Town, South Africa. He studied at Oxford University and obtained his doctorate at the end of 1962. His interest in the life and times of Fridtjof Nansen stems from reading Roland Huntford’s Nansen while on a visit to Antarctica in March 2005.The Nobel Prize in Medicine of 1906 was awarded to Camillo Golgi and Santiago Ramón y Cajal for their contributions to the Neuron Theory (Doctrine). Based on the results of his research into the micro-anatomy of the central nervous system of primitive animals, as recorded in his doctoral thesis of 1887, Fridtjof Nansen would have been a contender for a share in the prize had he been nominated. But he was never nominated for the prize, not by the professors of the Oslo Medical Faculty, nor by the eminent neuroscientist Gustaf Retzius. This fact is surprising since Retzius, who had nominated both Golgi and Cajal either singly or together every year since 1901, was a friend of Nansen and familiar with his work as a neuroscientist.

Entrance fee: ordinary tickets (60 kr for adults/25 for children/25 for seniors)

The museum's bookstore is open after the lectures.

The first in the Fram Museum's lecture series on Fridtjof Nansen's life and work will be held at the Fram Museum on Monday 2 May at 18:00.

Roland Huntford: "A polymath against his will - Nansen and his legacy"


Nansen biographer Roland Huntford will talk about Nansen's life and the legacy of Nansen. The lecture will be held in English.Roland Huntford is a senior member of  Wolfson College, University of Cambridge, and a former Allistair Horne Fellow at St. Antony's College, Oxford University, where he did research for his famous book published in 1997.

New lectures will take place every month in the period from now till June 2012.

Entrance fee: ordinary entrance tickets (60 kr for adults, 25 for children)

The author will sign his books, and the Fram Museum's book store will be open.

The bar will be open too.

More information about the author:

Roland Huntford (born 1927) is an author, principally of biographies of polar explorers. He lives in Cambridge, and was formerly Scandinavian correspondent of The Observer, also acting as their winter sports correspondent. He was the 1986-87 Alistair Horne Fellow at St Antony's College, Oxford.He has written biographies of Robert Falcon Scott, Ernest Shackleton and Nobel Peace Prize winner Fridtjof Nansen. Huntford's controversial The Last Place on Earth (originally titled Scott and Amundsen) had a tremendous impact on public interest in polar matters. Huntford put forth the point of view that Roald Amundsen's success in reaching the South Pole was abetted by much superior planning, whereas errors by Scott (notably including the reliance on man-hauling instead of sled dogs) ultimately resulted in the death of Scott and his companions.Huntford's non-polemical books include Sea of Darkness,The Sayings of Henrik Ibsen and Two Planks and a Passion: The dramatic history of skiing. His polemical The New Totalitarians is a critique of socialism in Sweden, written from the point of view of western political culture.

"Victory awaits him, who has everything in order - luck we call it.  Defeat is definitely due for him, who has neglected to take the necessary precautions - bad luck we call it"

Roald Amundsen

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