'Scientists Are the Explorers of Today.' Discuss.

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Exploration in the commonly accepted sense began with people like the sea-faring Columbus when, in the middle ages it was realized that the earth is a globe, not flat. It held a crucial role for centuries in colonization and trade expansion. In the 19th century startling results were achieved by wealthy and gifted amateurs. However quite early in this century virtually the whole of the earth's surface had been mapped in outline, and most of it surveyed by explorers on foot. The process has more recently been completed by the use of the aircraft and the helicopter. Attention is now concentrated on underground and undersea exploration and in recent years on space exploration. Before the First World War the international attitude towards exploration was competitive, as in the case of space exploration today, the USA. and USSR constantly trying to surpass each others achievements. After the first war the attitude was more co-operative. An international council of scientific unions was set up, its role being assumed by UNESCO after the Second World War. This organization co-ordinates results end supplies a limited amount of cash. This work culminated in the International Geophysical Year, 1957, in which 70 nations participated, producing a systematic study of the earth end the environment. A stop was put on territorial claims in Antarctica. The solid earth was examined scientifically by means of a series of deep probes, but since deep drilling is increasingly expensive, a stop was eventually put on this method. Since only 30% of the earth's surface is above sea level end only 10% habitable, attention has naturally been diverted to underground end undersea exploration for human reasons. It is necessary to drill for minerals, for fuel end for water in order to plan new facilities. Although modern exploration is largely pragmatic, the scientific aspect provides most interest, e.g. the work of the Upper Manke Committee. All observations are naturally indirect....
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