This is my last post as Chair of the Social and Cultural Geography Research Group, so I hope you will excuse the indulgence of some closing reflections and heartfelt thanks.
I have been involved in the group as secretary and then chair for six very enjoyable years. The SCGRG has been a pleasure to work with. The committee has always been excellent and supportive. I can’t name everyone here, but over 6 years there are many people who have helped organise events, set up and run up the dissertation prize, welcome new members to the group and keep finances, communications and conference administration on track. I am grateful to you all and have learnt so much from you. I would also like to acknowledge the enormous input and continued support from the RGS-IBG, particularly from Catherine Souch, Stephanie Wyse and Joy Hayward in the Research and Higher Education Division.
The wider group has also been an inspiration too. It has considerable strengths through its size and diversity, which can be seen as challenges, but enthusiasm has always been able to turn these into opportunities for dialogue and debate. This dynamism is important and I hope it will continue. There are new challenges too. The group is beginning to explore the implications of the changing environment in higher education, with more demands and less funding, through sessions at this year’s RGS-IBG annual conference on ‘crisis’ and ‘impact’. I think discussion needs to continue in the group as well about how best to support researchers in social and cultural geography in potentially difficult times. The new committee will be reviewing this shortly, so do get in touch with ideas.
So finally, I’d like to welcome the new committee. I am delighted to be handing on to an excellent group including Pete Adey as Chair, Sarah Mills as Secretary, Chris Bear as Treasurer, Franklin Ginn as Dissertation Co-ordinator, James Ash as Communications Office, Rebecca Sandover and Mia Hunt as postgraduate representatives, and Amanda Rogers, Harriet Hawkins, Owain Jones, Hannah Macpherson, Tara Woodyer, Paul Simpson and Leila Dawney. Full details will be on the committee webpage soon. And a final plug. I’m not totally giving up responsibilities for social and cultural geography. Stepping down from this role means I have the time to take up editing the Cultural Geography section of Geography Compass. If you have ideas for innovative reviews and overlooked subjects in cultural geography I’d love to hear from you!
With thanks and best wishes