‘Time to Eat the Dogs’…talking with Professor Michael Robinson about exploration, extreme environments and Southern Ocean history

Michael RobinsonProfessor Michael Robinson from the University of Hartford (USA), has been based at the Australian National University for a month whilst undertaking research at the National Library of Australia.

During his visit, I caught up with Michael to discuss Southern Ocean history and record a podcast for ‘Time to Eat the Dogs‘, his blog about science, history and exploration.


A bit about Michael Robinson

Michael teaches history at Hillyer College, University of Hartford, and he writes about the role of exploration in science and culture. His first book, The Coldest Crucible: Arctic Exploration and American Culture, won the 2008 Book Award from the Forum for the History of Science in America. It takes up the story of Arctic exploration in the United States during the height of its popularity, from 1850 to 1910. His latest book The Lost White Tribe: Scientists, Explorers, and the Theory that Changed a Continent (New York: Oxford University Press, 2016), describes the rise and fall of the Hamitic Hypothesis, a theory claiming that many native peoples were the descendants of a prehistoric “white invasion” from Central Asia.

About the Name [from Michael’s blog]

‘For many polar explorers, dogs served two purposes. They pulled sledges, and when they broke down, they were eaten as food, first by the healthier dogs, and then by the expedition party. Sometimes this happened as a last resort. Sometimes it was a part of a plan, a calculation of food, weight, and distance…’


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