“Needed: young researchers to join scientific expeditions organized in conjunction with the International Geophysical Year". A student, this ad posted at the University will change my life; I then would go to Antarctica to live an adventure: participate in the exploration of this huge continent still unknown. At 83, the white continent at the other end of the world still makes me dream.
In 1955, at 23, my student life was easy; being reasonably successfull in my studies at Besançon University, I was living in a well close family whose passion was football. My ambition was to follow the track of my brother Pierrot become a professional "goal keeper" in both the Sochaux and France teams. And I kept wondering for a long time not to have hesitated before telling myself " Why not me ?" in reaction to the ad posted at the University.
At the beginning of this century, Antarctica was the symbol of spirit of adventure. Expeditions by great explorers like Amundsen, Scott, Byrd and the Frenchman Jean-Baptiste Charcot had rightly imposed, in everyone's mind, that exploration and adventure were inseparable. By the middle of the century, stories and pictures from these heroic pioneers served as a basis to the organisation of scientific campaigns in Antarctica as part of the International Geophysics Year.