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  • Thomson Medal Presentation and Thomson Oration: Vital Learned Societies. The significance of voluntary, community-based learned societies for Australian geography’s future

Thomson Medal Presentation and Thomson Oration: Vital Learned Societies. The significance of voluntary, community-based learned societies for Australian geography’s future

  • 7 May 2024
  • 7:30 PM - 9:00 PM
  • Gregory Place, 1/28 Fortescue St, Spring Hill
  • 43

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Thomson Oration 2024

We are pleased to announce that the 2024 J P Thomson Medal will be awarded to Emeritus Professor Iain Hay. The J P Thomson Medal is the most prestigious award given by The Royal Geographical Society of Queensland. It was established in 1900 to honour Dr James Park Thomson, the Society’s founder. The award recognises Iain's high qualities of scholarship and his contribution to the discipline of geography.

Following the medal presentation, Iain will deliver the Thomson Oration on the topic - Vital Learned Societies. The significance of voluntary, community-based learned societies for Australian geography’s future.

Abstract: In an era characterised by environmental degradation, socio-spacial polarisation, and geopolitical turmoil, geography is of vast and heightened significance. And yet the scholarly discipline of geography in Australia confronts diminished public appreciation, elimination from university programs, falling school enrolments, and the challenges of out-of-field teaching. In the midst of this inconsistency are beacons of hope for the discipline in the form of voluntary, community-based learned societies such as RGSSA and RGSQ. These ‘people’s organisations’, driven by passion and fuelled by local knowledge, offer potent counterpoints to contemporary anxieties. This talk explores how voluntary, community-based learned societies signal hope for Australian geography. 

Bio: Iain Hay is Matthew Flinders Distinguished Emeritus Professor of Geography at Flinders University, inaugural Director of the Royal Geographical Society of South Australia, and Chair of the Australian Academy of Science’s National Committee for Geographical Sciences. He is former President of the Institute of Australian Geographers and (First) Vice President of the International Geographical Union. 

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The Royal Geographical Society of Queensland Ltd.
Level 1/28 Fortescue St, Spring Hill QLD 4000
info@rgsq.org.au  |  +61 7 3368 2066
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