While the international Antarctic research community is organized under the umbrella of SCAR, the national representing body to SCAR within Belgium is the Belgian National Committee on Antarctic Research (BNCAR). Leading Belgian scientists convene twice a year in the framework of BNCAR. One such meeting took place on Monday 28th November 2015 in Brussels and we were invited to join. In an open and friendly atmosphere a catalog of current topics was presented and discussed. Frank Pattyn, Anton Van de Putte and Nicolas Bergeot, for example, reported from the recent SCAR Open Science Conference and Meeting, held in Kuala Lumpur. Annick Wilmotte explained the wikibomb event to promote Women in Antarctic Research and called for participation to the Antarctic Environments Portal to bring up-to-date summaries of research data to policy makers. Upcoming events were discussed as well, like the SCAR Biology symposium in Leuven in July 2017. Furthermore, an action group for Antarctic place names was founded, in which Jean-Yves Pirlot from SCAGI will work together with some of the most experienced Belgian Antarctic scientists. That is very important as many names, especially close to the Princess Elisabeth Station, are commonly used even in the scientific literature, but not officially acknowledged. Other plans include holding an Antarctic symposium again (similarly to the one held in April), possibly around the topic of marine Antarctic research. We’ll keep you posted!
Alex & Henrik (APECS Belgium)