Cerebrating IASSA's 30th Anniversary on August 23, 2020
Dear IASSA Members!
On August 23 we celebrate the 30th anniversary of IASSA! My most sincere congratulations to all current and past members! IASSA today is a prominent and well-respected science organization that brings together many hundreds of scholars from a variety of social sciences, humanities and Indigenous knowledge systems. The wisdom of our leaders in 1988, when the idea of IASSA was born, and in 1990, when our association was established, paved the way for a rapid and continuing growth of social sciences in the Arctic. Needless to say that the volume of published scholarship in our disciplines quadrupled in the last 20 years! By the time of IPY, and especially in the post-IPY Arctic sciences family, we have taken a prominent role in shifting the focus of research and policy to understanding and addressing the challenges faced by Arctic communities. Engaging with Arctic communities and embracing Indigenous knowledge systems, supporting Indigenous scholars and residents has become and will remain the focus of IASSA. The voice of social sciences (writ large) is now heard at global and regional fora, from the Arctic Council, where IASSA is an observer, to the International Science Council, where IASSA is one of only few region-based member associations.
Although our successes are plentiful, it is not the time to rest. The new challenges are emerging as we are grappling with climate change, economic instability, political headwinds and COVID-19 pandemic. As individuals and as an organization we are affected by these. COVID-19 postponed our 10th Congress, which will now take place on June 15-19, 2021 in Arkhangelsk, Russia. COVID-19 transformed the life in the Arctic communities and forever altered the ways we conduct research. At the same time, it has given us an opportunity to reflect on what, how and why we pursue science in the Arctic. More importantly, this ‘pause’ could provide an opening for Arctic communities to consider what kind of research they would like to ‘welcome back’ when the pandemic is over, and what must fundamentally change to make this partnership more equitable.
As we are celebrating the 30th anniversary of IASSA at the computer screens or in socially-distanced settings we all thank the many colleagues and friends who invested their passion in the growth of our association, thank our current membership for loyalty and support, and rejoice in hoping that the path we are on is not only the road to growth and prominence of our profession, but a path to make a real difference in the world working together across disciplines, knowledge systems, borders and generations!
Andrey N. Petrov, President
Please visit https://www.google.com/url?q=https://iassa.org/iassa-30&source=gmail&ust=1598318124236000&usg=AFQjCNFqo-9Ru5Lct-LWe68oBqTnmJ0hgA" style="color: rgb(17, 85, 204);">https://iassa.org/iassa-30 and watch the upcoming issue of Northern Notes for more anniversary materials!