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50 years ago: the first women arrive at the South Pole

The first women at the South Pole, 12 November 1969 Photo: US Navy, with thanks to Bill Spindler

This year marks a significant milestone for the role of women scientists in Antarctica: 50 years ago on 12 November, the first women reached the South Pole, six in fact. Five were scientists, one a science writer, and all bar one were American. The sixth was a New Zealander, biologist Pam Young.

That summer, Pam had become the first New Zealand woman to work in Antarctica, as a field assistant to her biologist husband, Euan Young, at Cape Bird. She was invited to join the five women on their historic visit to 90°South.

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