Katedra sociální geografie
a regionálního rozvoje
Přírodovědecká fakulta
Ostravská univerzita v Ostravě
Kranichova 8
710 00 Ostrava - Slezská Ostrava
Czech Republic

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Geography for Life in the 21st Century


Dear Members of the Czech Geographical Society,

I invite you to participate in our 22nd congress which will take place in Ostrava from August 31 to September 3. The most important activity of the Czech Geographical Society (CGS) returns to Ostrava after 23 years. During those years the city of Ostrava as well as its surroundings have been undergoing a transformation from an industrial to a post-industrial region. I consider it somewhat symbolic that the CGS congress will be hosted by a region still searching for its authentic position which can also be said of Czech geography.

The CGS congresses have always offered an opportunity to present our home academic institutions and the results of their work. The congress in Ostrava will not be different. Above all, however, we wish to continue in the discussion about the future of (not only) Czech geography which began in Liberec in 2008. I think that at present we are facing a turning point in the development of science when, on the hand, its role in the society grows, yet, on the other hand, the competition for limited resources available for research increases as well. This is also true for geography the importance of which could gradually diminish if we do not reflect upon, and react to, these trends.

We need to ask where geography is going. It appears that one of the correct answers could be that it is going where it can serve humanity in the future. And if it is not going there, then we need to think about ways how to make it go in that direction. For this reason we decided to call the congress Geography for Life in the 21st Century.

During the congress we will also attend to some important organizational issues associated with the CGS. Apart from electing new members of the Main Committee and changing the statutes we will discuss the publication of our journals Geography - Proceedings of the CGS, Geographical Perspectives for teachers and newly also Information of the CGS, our third journal the purpose of which is to provide information about the activities of the CGS and its members.

I would also like to encourage geographers who are not members of the CGS to participate in our congress. The CGS is the principal geographical association in the Czech Republic and we believe it can offer numerous opportunities for advancement to all geographers in their particular academic and non-academic activities within the discipline. In our further work we will look for insipiration in the most important European geographical societies such as the French Societé de geographie (founded in 1821) or the British Royal Geographical Society (founded in 1830) whose membership base numbers in thousands, not in hundreds as is our case. The Director of the Royal Geographical Society Rita Gardner from London will come to our congress to share with us her experiences in directing a large professional association.

I strongly believe that the congress in Ostrava will be an important event in the long history of our Society and I reiterate my invitation to all who may be interested.

See you in Ostrava!

Tadeusz Siwek
President of the CGS

Aktualizace: 10. 04. 2010

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