The 2019 Wilkins Oration “Wilkins in the Air” with Laura Kissel

The Wilkins Foundation presents Laura Kissel, Senior Curator of Ohio State University’s Byrd Polar and Climate Research Centre, the world’s premier Wilkins archive to deliver the 2019 Wilkins Oration.

Date: Thursday 31st of October, 2019
Time: 6.30pm registration for 7.00pm start
Where: Braggs Lecture Theatre, University of Adelaide
Tickets: $20, book now

What is it about the South Australian-born adventurer and early polar explorer that so captivated Americans? Sir Hubert Wilkins has always been better known in the United States than in his home country.

Laura will take us on a journey of exploration through the Wilkins archives, focusing on his scientific, geographic explorations and cinematic contributions from the air.

One hundred years ago (almost to the day) Wilkins left England to take part in ‘The Great Race’ to Australia. While his team never made it, Wilkins did do some important work in nephoholgy (the study of clouds) and collected much scientific data and said “I would not do this as a stunt. I have most definite scientific reasons for going”.

Laura will share the stories and calculate the legacy of Wilkins in the air:

  • In balloons before and during World War 1
  • On English dirigibles and German Zeppelins
  • Through some death-defying aeroplane crash-landings
  • To becoming the first (with co-pilot Ben Eielson) to fly a plane across the Arctic Ocean, making him world-famous overnight.

Later that year he was the first to fly in Antarctica with Eielson.

Wilkins was arguably the first professional cinematographer who was also a navigator, explorer and cartographer. Described as “The Last Explorer”, Wilkin bridged the Heroic Age of polar exploration to the modern, more technological age of exploration. As an adventurer, Wilkins has also been called a real-life Indiana Jones.

Laura has identified important letters, photographs, films and artefacts for this presentation—many never seen by the public before. Visit the collection today.

Please join the Sir Hubert Wilkins Foundation and the Wilkins Institute in this memorable event on Sir Hubert’s 111th birthday, book now.

This event is supported by the Environment Institute.

Did you know: Dr Richard ‘Harry’ Harris SC OAM (Joint Australian of the Year 2019) is patron for the Wilkins Foundation?


This entry was posted in Environment Institute, Events, presentation, Science communication and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.