Scott, Robert Falcon (1868-1912), a British naval officer and explorer. He commanded two expeditions to Antarctica, reaching the South Pole on the second journey. Among important discoveries of the first expedition were the Ross Ice Shelf and King Edward VII Land (now called Edward VII Peninsula).
Scott was born at Devonport, England, and entered the navy at the age of 14. He became a naval officer in 1889 and a commander in 1900. He led the Royal Society and Royal Geographical Antarctic expedition of 1901-04, which made magnetic surveys of the continent, studied its topography, and determined routes to the interior. Scott was promoted to captain on his return and served in the navy until 1909.
In 1910 Scott headed a second Royal Society expedition to the Antarctic, this one to the South Pole. He hoped to reach the Pole before an expedition led by the Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen. After using dogs and ponies to move supplies into the interior, Scott and four companions pulled sledges to the final supply camp on the polar route. He and his four-man team reached the Pole about January 18, 1912, but found that Amundsen's expedition had preceded them by more than a month.
Blizzards, cold, and illness brought disaster on the return trip to the base camp. The entire party perished; Scott and two others pushed to within 11 miles (18 km) of the safety of their supply camp before dying of hunger and exposure. Their bodies were found in November by a search party. Scott's diary, with the final entry dated March 29, was published as Scott's Last Expedition (2 volumes, 1913).