Prof Yadvinder Malhi delivered the 2nd SoGE Annual Lecture at the Royal Geographical Society
On 12 February, alumni, current students staff and friends of the School of Geography and Environment met in London to share an evening at the Royal Geographical Society (RGS). The School's second Annual Lecture was generously hosted by the RGS and headlined by SoGE's own Yadvinder Malhi, Professor of Ecosystem Science. His talk 'Are we bigger than the biosphere? An examination of our human-dominated planet' attracted over 250 registrations and made lasting impressions on all our guests who came to share their passion for Geography and learn more about how the School has changed from the UK's oldest Geography department into the home hub for all major environmental research and education at the University of Oxford.
The Annual Lecture, which we hold each Hilary term, is one of the highlights in our yearly programme of alumni events, but also aims at a wider audience of friends, schools and the interested public. Last February, we launched this series with new Halford Mackinder Professor Danny Dorling's Inaugural Lecture at the Examination Schools in Oxford, this year we brought the event to London for the first time. Head of School Professor Sarah Whatmore and RGS Director Rita Gardner, who is a SoGE alumna herself, both welcomed the guests and stressed how alumni can play a key role for the School - and in creating, enhancing and growing the Geography network across the whole UK.
In his talk, Yadvinder Malhi presented an innovative way to think about our impact on our world's ecosystems: The comparison between our "social metabolism" and the metabolism of the biosphere provided plenty of food for thought and discussion on Twitter (#sogelive) as well as at the following drinks reception. The Society's grand Main Hall was filled with the buzz of networking geographers, old and new, for the remainder of an enjoyable evening.
"The lecture was important, scholarly and memorable. None of us will get the image of ourselves as 13 or even 30 tonne elephants out of our heads I am sure."
Jonathan Vernon, BA in Geography 1981-84
"This was one of the best lectures I have ever been to - extremely informative and compelling. I feel proud to be an Oxford School of Geography alumna!"
Dominica Lindsey, BA in Geography 1999-2002, MSc in Environmental Change and Management 2002-03
Our visitors from Godolphin and Latymer School in London Hammersmith: Geography teachers Miles Golland (far left) and Katherine Tallett-Williams (far right) brought two of their sixth formers along. Alanna Scott (second from left) enjoyed joining the dots between the lecture and the classroom. Stephanie Williams has got a place to read Geography at Oxford next year, and hearing Yadvinder Malhi speak got her even more excited about the course than she already was.