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Posted 12 May 2009

King of Sweden honours UCD professor of geography

In recognition of her contributions to humanistic geography and the development of geography in Sweden, UCD Emeritus Professor Anne Buttimer has been awarded the Johan August Wahlberg Gold Medal by King Carl Gustaf of Sweden.

The Medal is one of the Vega medals named in honour of the ‘Vega’ voyage through the Arctic 1878-1879. The medals are awarded by the Swedish Society for Anthropology and Geography, a society for which the King of Sweden is the major Patron.

Professor Buttimer, UCD School of Geography, Planning and Environmental Policy, is a world renowned geographer, who has made significant academic contributions to the history and philosophy of geographical thought and practice; to human and cultural geography, particularly the temporal and spatial aspects of everyday life and to the understanding of the interactions between science and policy. She has published 50 academic articles in peer reviewed journals, and is the author or editor of 18 books.

King Carl Gustaf of Stockholm with Professor Allen J Scott, UCLA, USA, and
King Carl Gustaf of Stockholm with Professor Allen J Scott, UCLA, USA, and
Professor Anne Buttimer, University College Dublin, Ireland

Professor Buttimer has a long association with Swedish Geography; she was a visiting Fulbright Professor of Social Ecology at Lund University in 1976 and was a full time researcher there during 1977-1979 and 1982-1988. Her association with Swedish Geography continues to this day and her book with Tom Mels By Northern Lights: On the making of geography in Sweden, published in 2006 by Routledge, provides the first ever account of the development of geographic thought in Sweden.

The award was presented in Stockholm Royal Castle, Sweden, on 24 April 2009. This is the first time that an Irish academic has received the award. At the award ceremony, Professor Allen J Scott from UCLA, USA, received the Anders Retzius Gold Medal for his contributions to economic and urban geography.

Professor Buttimer has been honoured with other distinguished awards throughout her career including: The Association of American Geographers Honors Award 1986; Honours Award, Taiwan Geographical Society 1990; Ellen Churchill Semple Award, University of Kentucky 1991; Royal Geographical Society (UK) Murchison Award 1997; Royal Scottish Geographical Society Millenium Award 2000; Membre D'Honneur, Sociéte de Géographie 2001; Socio D'onore Societá Geografica, Italiana, 2006; and Honorary doctorates from University of Joensuu, 1999; and Tartu University 2004.

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