Moving Forwards from the SGM: Following on from the Vote at the Recent Special General Meeting of the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG), Society Director Dr Rita Gardner Looks to the Future

Article excerpt

* A NUMBER OF FELLOWS have asked what is going to happen after the special general meeting (SGM). 'Will the Society continue with its planned review of how it supports research and scientific expeditions?' The answer is 'yes'. Further information on the process and timetable will be in the autumn Bulletin and on our website.

The review will involve gathering data in order to ensure that it's factually based. There will be a period of consultation, during which all Fellows are encouraged to contribute their ideas--all will be considered. We anticipate there being a wide range of views, and it's important that we understand them all. We shall also be consulting other interested parties: we will take into account the recent SGM vote, and we will look at the wider context of the Society, geography, and the research and scientific expedition community.

The final recommendations as to how we can best support the generation of new geographical knowledge will be considered formally by the Society's council, probably in spring 2010, and then published.

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Reviews happen regularly as part of our strategic planning and will continue in future. All of the Society's decisions and choices, none of which are set 'in perpetuity', are carefully thought through, based on needs, and set within the context of all that we do. Genuine understanding and good decision-making are required, and the way in which the recent campaign resulted in polarisation and caricatures, and, at times, misrepresentation of the issues within the press--coverage that the Society did not itself seek--emphasises the need for that.

An important part of the review will be evaluating the effectiveness of our current approach. …