November 5, 2008
Michael Bravo is Senior Lecturer at the University of Cambridge and a Fellow of Downing College. He is based at the Scott Polar Research Institute, Department of Geography, where he is Head of the Circumpolar History and Public Policy Research Group. The group undertakes research relating to knowledge and governance, specializing in the Canadian Arctic, through the lens of international, circumpolar issues.
Bravo has an interdisciplinary background with a humanities PhD (Cantab 1992) in the history and philosophy of science, building on a technical background with a B.Eng. (Carleton 1985) in satellite communications engineering. This has brought to his research an understanding of technical issues together with their ethical, policy dimensions.
Bravo has written extensively on the role of scientific research in the exploration and development of the Arctic, exploring issues in the philosophy of experiment such as the nature of precision and calibration. In his co-edited book Narrating the Arctic (2002), he explored the implications of the Arctic’s extraordinary historical diversity through the lens of the Scandinavian Arctic.
Bravo is currently leading an International Polar Year project making a comparative study of the uses of polar research stations. Under this umbrella his team has begun to assemble the first overview of the creation of polar research stations from the 1820s to the present day, linking them to others crucial developments in science such as the laboratory revolution and the invention of international scientific years (e.g. IPYs). His current concerns include the recent rise of cryo-politics, the ethics of environmental regulation, and the dangers that sea ice loss pose to the political rights and traditions of the Arctic’s inhabitants.