Geography, a science in action, has a rich history behind it, and a renewed importance for the present and the future society.
ISC Member, the International Geographical Union (IGU) proposes to examine at the 2022 IGU centenary Congress the main trends in the evolution of the geographical discipline and the different perspectives that are opening up to it: in international and interdisciplinary cooperation between researchers, its role in the understanding and betterment of the world, its place in the social and natural sciences, but also its relevance for decision-makers and the training of young people and citizens around the world.
The times for geography are accelerating with such worldwide changes as globalisation, advances in international transport and communication technologies, and increasing global environmental constraints and disasters. International conferences and symposia provide an opportunity, more easily than in the past, to meet with colleagues from various backgrounds and to discuss various approaches to geography in a friendly atmosphere. However, these times for geography remain differentiated from one country to another, as some advanced technologies used widely in geography are still difficult to access in some countries. Some innovative themes, particularly in social geography, remain for the moment limited to specific cultural areas.
The emergency health context related to COVID-19 is also a reminder of the brutality with which some disruptions can occur. It seems to have accelerated certain processes and prompted a re-examination of the parameters and dynamics of globalisation. The scientific paradigms of a few countries dominate research, as can be seen in the academic journals published by some powerful publishing groups from the Anglo-American world. How can themes specific to other regions or countries be raised and disseminated in the international scientific discourse? The linguistic and thematic diversity of research seems to be diminishing over time even as the volume of publications expands: is this an inevitable evolution? This is undoubtedly one of the challenges for the geography of the future in a world where the continents of Asia, Africa and Latin America represent a growing share of the planet’s population and of the number of researchers.
The theme “Time for Geographers” invites us to question the links between the spatial and temporal dimensions of the living environment of humans and non-humans. It allows us to confront instant and duration, ephemeral and permanent, temporality and timelessness, uniqueness and repetition, rapidity and slowness, mobility and immobility, cycles and renewal, mortality and immortality, revolutions and stagnation, dynamics and resistance, crisis and resilience, stability and instability, biostasis and rhexistasis, youth and old age, heritage and prospective, spatial and temporal scales, geography and the society.