As George Ainsworth suggested in his contribution to Mawson’s The Home of the Blizzard, the science of Macquarie Island is unique indeed. A sense of this uniqueness underlies the two years of field studies by the AAE party – a sense shared with all others who have lived on and studied the island.
As it turned out, Macquarie Island’s origins were not as Ainsworth suggested, though the story is even more remarkable than anyone in the AAE could have suspected. But the observing and recording of the AAE party laid the groundwork. Theirs was by far the best organised, most thorough field science on the island until the long-term studies begun in the late 1940s by the Australian National Antarctic Research Expeditions.