Support Provided ByLearn More

Turn Up the Heat

ByTom MillerThe Secret Life of Scientists and EngineersThe Secret Life of Scientists and Engineers

Receive emails about upcoming NOVA programs and related content, as well as featured reporting about current events through a science lens.

Click here for Adrienne’s profile.

When you do your research at the South Pole, you have to make some sacrifices. Two of the things Adrienne Block always misses while doing her research are jeans and her bassoon. She told us that you don’t wear jeans at the South Pole because wool inevitably wins out over cotton in the Antarctic freeze. Likewise, Adrienne doesn’t take her bassoon to the bottom of the earth since she fears the weather would crack it in two. (She did take a harmonica on one trip… but it wasn’t the same.) Adrienne actually also harbors a fear that the weather may crack

Support Provided ByLearn More
her in two (“I hate cold—I’m cold when I go to the movie theatre!”) So why does she keep going back? Adrienne explains:

Turn Up the Heat-adrienne_515-4.jpg
Our friend Adrienne Block outside a movie theatre in Antarctica

“The thing that helps me get over how cold it is… is that Antarctica has so many great unknowns—so many questions that no one has any idea about, just because no one’s ever been there before, or no one’s ever collected data there before, or no one’s collected enough data. And I think it’s the fact that you can go there and be an expert–instantly be the person that knows the most about an area—just because you were there for two months.”

Two months ??

Stay warm, Adrienne.