The expeditions conducted on the Pourquoi-Pas? were extremely valuable contributions to the early understanding of the Arctic and Southern Oceans. The results of these studies have been published in a great many journals, magazines, newspapers, and books. Charcot and his crew on the Pourquoi-Pas? were conducting some similar research as the university professors and students of today. It is therefore quite appropriate to commemorate this important man, his crew and his ship, which sank off the coast of Iceland, in various ways, for example with this website. Charcot is a positive role model for us all, but especially for young scientists starting their careers in marine sciences.
This website is part of the so-called Charcot Project that commenced with pomp and circumstance in 2005 in preparation for the commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the sinking of the Pourquoi-Pas? in 2006. In that year a symposium was held the University of Iceland. Early in the year, an in-depth exhibit about him was opened in the Sudurnes Science and Learning Center in Sandgerði and since then there have been annual Charcot lectures held in Iceland.
Jörundur Svavarsson is a professor of marine biology at the University of Iceland. His areas of specialty are marine taxonomy, deep-sea biology, and ecotoxicology. In his extensive career, he has participated in a great many research expeditions in many oceans and his studies have taken him, among other places, to the Arctic Ocean, the Adaman Sea, to the waters surrounding New Zealand and the Great Barrier Reef off the coast of Australia.
Fridrik Rafnsson is a literary scholar and translator (Verne, Diderot, Kundera, Houellebecq, etc.) but he has also worked on websites over the years, such as those for the publisher Mál og Menning, the University of Iceland, and the city of Reykjavík. He has collaborated several times with French institutions and was the president of the French Alliance from 2007 until 2012.
This site is set up with much support from Dr. Bernard Dor.