Physical geography and geography as an environmental science

Ken Gregory

in A Century of British Geography

Published by British Academy

Published in print September 2003 | ISBN: 9780197262863
Published online February 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191734076 | DOI:

Series: British Academy Centenary Monographs

Physical geography and geography as an environmental science

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The evolution of physical geography in Britain over the last 100 years cannot be divorced from developments elsewhere, and by the year 2000 it had become increasingly difficult to distinguish physical geography from other disciplines. Some periods have shown a net gain, during which British physical geography assimilated and responded to trends developed elsewhere, whereas in others British trends provided a lead (especially reflecting the inspiration given by particular individuals) that has been perceived to be internationally influential. Whereas nineteenth-century geography was more holistic in character, it is ironic that for much of the twentieth century it became increasingly reductionist, with the development of many separate sub-fields succeeded by trends, very evident at the millennium, of a discipline seeking holism again — clearly linking with environmental science. The foundations of twentieth-century British physical geography included a major component derived from geology.

Keywords: Britain; physical geography; geography; environmental science; geology

Chapter.  18203 words. 

Subjects: Population and Demography

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