Fridtjof Nansen was a Norwegian born in Oslo in 1861 and was the first man to lead a small expedition across the Greenland Ice Sheet during the summer of 1888, proving that the interior of Greenland was completly covered by ice. In 1893 he explored the Arctic Ocean using a specially built, strong ship, the FRAM, by freezing her into ice on the Eastern coast of Siberia and drifting with the Transpolar Current which originally was hypothesed to exist by Professor Henrik Mohn, the first Director of the Norwegian Meterological Institute. Nansen made fundamental new observations in the Artic Ocean and established that the ocean was more than 4000 m. deep. Furthermore, he observed that FRAM, which was frosen into an ice floe, drifted to the right of the wind direction which he hypothesed was the effect of the Coriolis force, which became the fundamental theory of the wind driven current in the World Ocean, under the name the Ekman Spiral which was a mathematical theory publiched by A. Ekman in 1905, inspired by Nansen. FRAM drifted out in the passage between Svalbard and Greenland in 1896. This passage was later named the FRAM STRAIT.

In the beginning og the 20th Centry Nansen investigated the Norwegian-Greenland Seas and discovered that the Greenland Sea was an area where Deep Water formation took place which is fundamental for the global ocean circulation.

Later Nansen became a diplomat playing an important role when Norway seperated from Sweden in 1905. Thereaftere he become the first High Comminisonar for the Leaque og Nation in Geneve where he repatriated more that 400 000 refugeses after the first World War, including creating the Nansen pasport. He continued his humaniterian work during the famine in Russia after the War. For his humaniterian work he was awarded the Nobel Peace prize in 1922 . He dieed in 1930.

In the spirit of Nansen we started the Nansen Senter in Bergen in 1986, the Nansen Center in St. Petersburg, Russia in 1992 – the Nansen Center in Cochin, Inda in 1996 – the Nansen-Zhu Center in Beijing, China in 2003 – The Nansen Scientfic Society in Bergen, Norway in 2006 – the Nansen-Tutu Center in Cape Town, South Africa in 2010 and the Nansen Center in Dhaka, Bangladesh in 2011.