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Life Experience as Catalyst for cross-disciplinary communication

An international dialogue project, based on video-recorded interviews, initiated by Anne Buttimer and Torsten Hagerstrand in 1977-78 to explore alternative approaches to communication between specialists in the sciences and the humanities, and also between professional experts and the public.

Anne Buttimer Book Cover 2

Professor Anne Buttimer invites you to explore this project

The International Dialogue Project was initiated by Anne Buttimer and Torsten Hagerstrand during the academic year 1977-78 to explore alternative approaches to communication between specialists in the sciences and the humanities and between professional experts and the public. Videotaped interviews with senior and retired scholars and professionals who shared insights from their own career experiences, as well as group discussions on specific issues and periods, constituted the core of this process. Recordings were played for audiences from various academic and non-academic fields as catalysts for dialogue on issues of common concern, as well as evokers of critical reflection on relationships between professional expertise and lived experience. A wide range of individuals, mainly from Europe and America, participated in this process, and over 150 recordings, including some donated by colleagues in other countries, were made during the period 1978-89. Recordings continue to date, and even now, the project is strongly supported by (opens in a new window)Academia Europaea. Their contents have been analysed with a view toward discerning common denominators of thought and practice among scholars in various disciplines, as well as the tensions between "internal" and "external" influences in career journeys of twentieth-century scholars (see Buttimer, A., Geography and the Human Spirit, Baltimore, Maryland, The John Hopkins University Press, 1991.) These recordings are valuable archival resources for research on knowledge and experience, theory and practice, and creativity and context. There are seven distinct themes: Geography, Planning/Development, Health Care, Enterprise, Creativity, Intercultural Communication, Philosophy & Science. They are listed out in numerical order on the following web pages and are clickable videos if you select the title or image of each interview.

Anne Buttimer Project Picture


Financial support for this project was received from a wide variety of sources. The Swedish Council for Humanities and Social Sciences (HSFR), the Bank of Sweden Tercentenary Fund (RJ), and the Wallenberg Foundation supported the infrastructure, personnel and material costs for initiating the project 1978-1988; in the USA, the Alice and Milton Higgins Fund and the Takahashi Fund at Clark University supported its further development 1979-1982, and in Canada, recordings have been supported by the University of Ottawa, Royal Society and Forestry Canada. Many recordings were supported by the host universities of interviewees; some have been possible through the gracious help of the organising committees of IGU symposia and congresses. Of particular note has been the graciousness of the Rausing family and Tetra-Pak, who supplied equipment and personnel to record interviews during international congresses.


V=Video recording; A=Audio recording; T=Transcript available; T(GN)=Text published in Geographers of Norden (Lund University Press, 1988); T (PG) = Text published in The Practice of Geography (London: Longmans 1983).

In cases where recordings were made in languages other than English, this is noted. Copies of all original tapes and transcripts are still available from Media Services at Lund University Library, P.O.Box 3, S-22100 Lund, Sweden.‌‌


The following is a list of Anne Buttimer's published works (1938-2017), based on her own listing. Where available, at UCD Research Repository or on external websites, full-text versions may be accessed by clicking on the title; where a full-text is not available, this links through to the publisher's webpage. This has been done per Professor Buttimer's wishes to have her works made available online for public consultation and is part of ongoing efforts at the School of Geography to store and render accessible her archives and personal library. 

Professor Anne Buttimer's Publications