Antarctica is a privileged site for studying global scale phenomena, reconstructing the past, studying ecological systems not modified by human activity, and understanding the potential impacts of the changes introduced by these activities on the Earth system. The Antarctic bases throughout the continent and the national programs and institutions that support Antarctic research therefore constitute a melting pot of scientific initiatives that integrate highly specialized disciplinary research with strongly inter and multidisciplinary research.
To develop relevant scientific activity is one of the excluding conditions to be part of the Antarctic Treaty. Research projects focused on Antarctica must be aligned with the scientific objectives of the PNA and the international priorities established by SCAR and CPA. This implies conforming and managing a portfolio of projects developed by national researchers and institutions, which ensures the sustainability in time of Uruguay’s scientific activity in the ATA. It also requires a prioritization, continuously updated, to guide the efforts of the PNA in scientific matters.
Projects within the PNA portfolio should incorporate a number of principles:
- Collaborative science.
- Programmes rather than projects.
- Flexibility and programmes that evolve adaptively.
- Preferably interdisciplinary science.
- Maximize the return of activities in Antarctica.
- Without geographical limits.
- Science that educates.
These principles together with the objectives of the scientific activity developed by Uruguay in Antarctica are described in depth in the following document: Guidelines of the National Antarctic Program for the development of Uruguay’s scientific activity in Antarctica.