National Academy of Sciences Gilbert F. White Lecture in the Geographical Sciences

The essential point, I believe, is that people around the world in the 1990s are perceiving the earth as more than a globe to be surveyed, or developed for the public good in the short term, or to be protected from threats to its well-being, both human and natural. . . . The roots are in a growing solemn sense of the individual as part of one human family for whom earth is its one spiritual home.


In 2006 the Geographical Sciences Committee of the National Academy of Sciences established the Gilbert F. White lecture series, the aim of which is to examine connections between the geographical sciences and society. Developed with his blessing, it both honors Gilbert and uses his example to encourage and inspire geographers to share their work regarding the connections between science and society.

The inaugural lecture was delivered on January 24th, 2007 by Gilbert's eminent former student, Robert Kates at the National Academies Keck Center in Washington, D.C. The lecture surveyed Gilbert's career as well as the methods, results, and long-term consequences of his work. Past and future lecture listings, along with pdfs of the lectures, are provided on the series website: