Our Story
2024 Honoree Martina Panisi takes a break during night surveys in the desert Author: Diogo Ferreira

Our Story


the EC50

Each year The Explorers Club recognizes 50 extraordinary people who are doing remarkable work to promote science and exploration, but remain under the radar and out of the limelight. These 50 individuals are exploring, inspiring, and creating the future—the future of the planet, life upon it, and the boundless possibilities that await us all.



Countries represented by applicants


Applicants since the EC50 program launch


Club programs featuring EC50 Honorees to date


The age of the oldest laureate

2021 Honoree Jeneria Lekilelei engages with other warriors about the importance of lion conservation
2021 Honoree Jeneria Lekilelei engages with other warriors about the importance of lion conservation Author: David Chancellor


People have reflected on the question of “who are we?” over centuries of introspection, and that question became the jumping off point for this project: Who are we as an institution? More importantly, who do we want to be?

We have over 100 years of exploration legacy behind us, empowered by the most extraordinary accomplishments: first to the North Pole, first to the South Pole, first to the summit of Mount Everest, first to the deepest point in the ocean, first to the surface of the moon—all successes by our members.

With that in mind, the question became, what will the future of The Explorers Club and the next 100 years of exploration look like? To answer that question, we created The Explorers Club 50 in 2021 to challenge the way we have traditionally thought about exploration

As the EC50 sails into its fourth year, our steadfast mission remains to redefine exploration and enrich our knowledge of the world around us. This mission means approaching exploration as a communal endeavor, and I am proud of how each and every one of our 200 honorees unite towards this goal.

This program thrives, not as a monument to individual glory, but as a beacon for the power we have when we stand together.

Yours in Exploration,
Richard Wiese
President Emeritus & EC50 Chair

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Redefining Exploration

changing the face of field science

Through the EC50 program, The Explorers Club has redefined what it means to explore; what it means to challenge ourselves; what it means to dream.

In each class of fifty explorers, we aim to paint a picture of the great diversity within modern exploration. Not just in age, gender, race, or demographic background, but also in the explorer’s approach to problem-solving, field science, and their vision of the future.

The goal of this program is not only to recognize explorers from new and different realms of experience, but, by doing so, to create new conversations, new perceptions, and new alliances that infuse the familiar world of our Club with new curiosity and wonder. And not just wonder about the possibilities of exploration, but wonder about the possibilities within ourselves.

2024 Honoree Alejandro examines the light-producing abilities of a new species of Lightbulb Lizard discovered in Ecuador Author: Angie Tovar

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