Polar exploration is one of the compelling adventures of this century. The modern reader thrills to the heroic feats of Scott, Shackleton, Amundsen, and Perry. Often forgotten is the less dramatic but equally courageous work of those who came after the pioneers. Among this group are the physicians and, in recent years, their sturdy experimental subjects. Medical officers often make use of the natural refrigeration of the area in improvising physiological experiments. It is difficult, however, to do scientific research in the milieu of the average polar expedition.
The study of acclimatization to cold serves as an example. Many explorers believed that acclimatization occurred as time progressed. However, they had no data. Then expedition physicians such as Butson1 observed that personnel wore less protective clothing and complained less of the cold as the winter progressed. Investigation of this and other similar clues followed. In many studies, however, the only
ANTARCTIC ANCHORITES. JAMA. 1964;190(8):775–776. doi:10.1001/jama.1964.03070210081022