Re: Survey of wilderness and aesthetic values of Antarctica
From Rupert via email
The overall purpose of the research is to compile definitions wilderness and aesthetic value. The Madrid Protocol calls for the protection of the wilderness and aesthetic values of Antarctica, but doesn't define what those values are, nor how they should be protected. Even before defining wilderness and aesthetic values, it is first necessary to define what wilderness is, in the Antarctic context, and aesthetics, which is open to a very wide variety of interpretations.
The purpose of the aesthetic descriptors is to get some more detail about what respondents like or dislike about the scene. A 1 - 7 aesthetic reference scale doesn't give much away! When you think about the way we communicate aesthetic preference is with words - but, as an aside, it is interesting how often words are not up to the task. The technique I am using is called semantic differential, except that I am using the technique in a non-standard way. The four words presented are taken randomly from a list of 20 which I compiled from adjectives used in the Antarctic literature and from field hut logs (with two exceptions that I added). I chose the semantic differential approach rather than, for example, a free text response so that I can convert the responses to numbers and analyse the results statistically. There is another reason that I would rather not go into for fear of biasing the results. I will be presenting some of the results at the IPY conference in Oslo in June.
All the best