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Where in the world is the editor?

image: Departments header Thanks for your profile of geographer Gilbert F. White, SB'32, SM'34, PhD'42, in the April/00 issue ("Gilbert White watches the world's water," page 43). We hear too little about practitioners of geography, a discipline that analyzes the relationships between society, environment, space, and geographical information. I am not surprised that you neglected to mention that the Chicago administration did away with the geography department in the 1980s. What potential research worthy of the National Academy of Sciences' highest honor is not being done thanks to a short-sighted decision by the University's administrators?

Also, at the risk of supporting the common misconception that advanced work in geography consists of elementary-school level memorization of place names and locations, I can't resist pointing out that geographical literacy at the University of Chicago is in a sad state since the demotion of geography to committee status: The same issue ("Lecture Notes," page 36) also covers the use of the Buffalo Creek mining disaster as a Law and Society case study "in which a large settlement was procured for residents of Buffalo Creek, Virginia, after a mine collapsed...." First, the deadly disaster was not a mine collapse but a flood following the failure of a tailings dam. Second, Buffalo Creek is located in, ahem, West Virginia.

George E. Clark, AM'89
Chicago


  AUGUST 2000

  > > Volume 92, Number 4


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