Gerard Ward was part of a research team with the University of Minnesota who carried out an ambitious computer simulation study of Polynesian settlement. The experiments were designed to demonstrate the probability of initial human settlement of scattered islands in the eastern Pacific being the result of ‘deliberate voyaging’ rather than ‘accidental drift’. This was proven to be much greater than previously thought. The argument and evidence provided by Ward and his colleagues from the University of Minnesota generated considerable debate in the literature in the 1960s.
Professor Gerard Ward collection, ANU Archives, ANUA 258