Fellowship of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society
24 November 2015, 09h10 EST (UTC-5)
The Royal Canadian Geographical Society
Click logo for the RCGS
My high school geography teachers would be baffled, but I am deeply honoured to have been elected a Fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society (RCGS).
The Fellowship includes many of Canada's most intrepid explorers, who have sledded across arctic tundra, crossed deserts, mapped the ocean floor, scaled mountains, cut through jungles, and walked in space. By comparison, I have occasionally bicycled to my office.
My involvement in geography has been in political geography, and in particular, the resolution of international border conflicts.
We live in an increasingly “placeless” world, where individuals often see themselves as members of communities of the mind rather than of the soil. Yet, the land has not given up its grip on our souls. People still kill and die for the dream of having a country of their own, still gaze across their borders with a sense of friendship or dread.
The challenge of political geography remains finding viable, stable, and secure arrangements that enable peoples to live together in ways that they believe are just and legitimate.
I must admit that I feel unequal to the honour the RCGS has done me, but I will work very hard to make them glad of their decision. And I will definitely have to find my old pith helmet.