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Head of Geography elected Academician of the Academy of Social Sciences

Posted on 22/01/2010

Professor David Simon, Head of the Department of Geography

Professor David Simon, Head of the Department of Geography at Royal Holloway, University of London, has achieved the distinction of being elected an Academician of the Academy of Social Sciences in recognition of his outstanding contributions to the field. Individual social scientists are conferred the title by virtue of their eminence.

Professor Simon works across an unusually broad range of interrelated themes linking Geography, Development Studies and cognate social and environmental sciences. His systematic research interests include development theory, policy and practice; the development-environment interface; urbanisation and global environmental (climate) change; sustainability; and transport and regional and national development planning.

Professor David Simon works tirelessly at the interface between theory, policy and practice at all scales from the local community grassroots to the world stage. He has acted as consultant and expert advisor to various international agencies – including the European Commission, UN International Drugs Control Program, UN-HABITAT and International Water Management Institute – to the Namibian government, business briefing services and individual clients.

Since 2007 he has been advising UN-HABITAT on integrating global environmental change/climate change into its work programme and chaired the launch conference of its Cities and Climate Change Initiative in Oslo in March 2009; he will also assist them at the crucial Copenhagen Conference of the Parties (COP15) of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in December 2009, at which the successor to the Kyoto Protocol will be finalised.

Professor Simon comments, “I am honoured to be among the new Academicians this year, embracing leading figures across the full range of social sciences. The role of the Academy in raising the public profile of social science has never been more important than at the present time of public expenditure cuts, and I look forward to the challenge.”

The Dean of Science, Professor Philip Beesley, said, “I am delighted that David’s wide-ranging contribution to Social and Cultural Geography has been recognised by this prestigious award, and we look forward to his continuing success.”

Professor David Simon’s achievement only further enhances the world-leading reputation of the Department of Geography, which was rated among the top tier of Departments in the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise, with its research environment singled out as overwhelming ‘world class’ and ‘internationally excellent’.


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