Geography Academic Lecture Series
The Geography Academic lecture series was originally set up as the “Elizabeth Chan Cheng E-lay Lecture Series” with a donation from Mrs. Elizabeth Chan Cheng E-lay, a 1964 graduate from the then Department of History and Geography. Although this funding supported our activities for many years the resources have now expired and the lectures will continue as the “Geography Academic Lecture Series”. We continue to invite prominent geographers from around the world to present research on various geographical themes in order to enhance teaching and learning of geography at the University, and to broaden our international connections.
Geography Academic Lecture (22nd September, 2011)
The Geography Department hosted a public lecture on 22 September 2011, with Prof. Roslyn Taplin spoke on the topic “Climate Change Policy: People, Politics and Places in Australia”. Prof. Roslyn Taplin is Professor of Environmental Management and Head of the Sustainability Science in the Institute of Sustainable Development and Architecture, Bond University, Australia. Prof. Taplin has a wealth of research and consulting experience in international and domestic environmental management and climate change policy.
During the lecture, Prof. Taplin introduced the audience to the current climate change policy in Australia, and the political factors that pose challenges to the implementation of greenhouse gases reduction. Prof. Taplin commented that successive democratically elected Australian governments have been reluctant to commit to cut domestic emissions. Paradoxically, climate science indicates that Australia is very vulnerable to climate change, as reflected in the occurrence of extreme weather events in Australia in recent years: including bushfires, floods, cyclones and drought. Prof. Taplin suggested that review of the Australian policy seems to be dependent on the social learning of the Australian community about their country’s climate change vulnerability.
The lecture was very well-attended by academic staff and students from diverse disciplines of the University, as well as other local institutions. The Department would like to acknowledge the HKBU Century Club, who provided partial sponsorship for the lecture.
16th Elizabeth Chan Cheng E-lay Academic Lecture (26th January, 2011)
The Geography Department hosted the 16th Elizabeth Chan Cheng E-lay Geography Academic Lecture on 26 January 2011, and the speaker of the event was Professor Manfred Domroes, Professor Emeritus of the Department of Geography, Mainz University, Germany. Professor Domroes is a world renowned geographer in the fields of tropical and monsoon climates, ecology and environmental studies, and ecotourism. His regional specialty is on the regional geography of Asia. Professor Adrian Bailey, Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences, attended and introduced Professor Domroes to the audience, which included guests from other tertiary institutions, Geography Advisory Committee members, faculty members and students from diverse disciplines of the University, and alumni of the Department.
The topic of Professor Domroes’ lecture was “Uniting Nature Conservation and Sustainable Tourism: The Case of Horton Plains National Park, Sri Lanka”. In his lecture, Prof. Domroes explicated the unique characteristics and the significance of the Horton Plains National Park in terms of its biodiversity and the park management strategies. He concluded that to sustain the Park as a biodiversity “hotspot” for future generations the Park authority should strengthen the visitors’ awareness of the Horton Plain’s unique ecological values. This view is supported by the findings of a recent visitors’ survey of the Park in which many tourists held positive attitudes towards tightening park regulations enforcement and enhancing nature-conservation programs target to educate the general public on the values of the Horton Plains National Park.
15th Elizabeth Chan Cheng E-lay Academic Lecture (21st January, 2010)
The 15th Elizabeth Chan Cheng E-lay Geography Academic Lecture was successfully launched by the Geography Department on Thursday, 21 January 2010. Dr. Michael Trapasso from the Department of Geography and Geology, Western Kentucky University, USA, was our honourable speaker for the lecture.
Prof. Tsoi Ah-Chung, Vice-President (Research & Institutional Advancement), presented a welcoming address. Dr. Trapasso’s well-illustrated and informative speech was very appreciated by all and attracted an audience of over 100 people.
The lecture dealt with “Tourism in the ‘Land of the Ozone Hole’: A Perception Study”. Dr. Trapasso shared with audience the findings of his study, in which people in various regions of Argentina and scientists on the Antarctic Peninsula were interviewed. His study focussed on perspectives concerning the Ozone Hole and included people’s worries about its possible health implications. The research included different populations, including: scientists, government officials, journalists, economists, local inhabitants, and tourists. Each group had a varying knowledge base concerning the actual ozone problems, and consequently had differing perceptions of the issues involved. The widest range of perspectives about the “Land of the Ozone Hole” were obtained from tourists, both Argentine and overseas.
Dr. Trapasso’s expertise lies in the atmospheric and earth sciences. Renowned in the field of applied climatology, Dr. Trapasso has a wealth of experience in consultation, as well as research that has been published extensively; and presented at scores of professional meetings in the U.S. and abroad. He has worked with educational television and radio broadcasts, and is a popular speaker on a variety of geographical and historical topics.
14th Elizabeth Chan Cheng E-lay Academic Lecture (29th October, 2009)
Professor Swapna Banerjee-Guha, Professor of Development Studies at Tata Institute of Social Sciences, India, was the speaker at the Geography Department’s 14th Elizabeth Chan Cheng E-lay Geography Academic Lecture on Thursday, 29 October 2009. The lecture topic was: “Neoliberalising the ‘Urban’ in India: New Geographies of Power and Injustice in Indian Cities”.
Indian cities of various sizes are being remodeled in recent times as “world class cities” to function as nodes of circulation for global finance and high-tech activities of a diverse nature. In her lecture, Prof. Banerjee-Guha explained the active engagement of neoliberalism in the current urban policy in India as epitomized by the Indian Government’s recently launched “Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission”(JNNURM). This is not only moulding the concept of ‘urban’ at a national level, but also intensifying unevenness in inter-urban and intra-urban development almost at a structural level.
Professor Banerjee-Guha has been a pioneer in the field of critical research in geography in India with a focus on political economy, globalization, development issues and urban studies. Her lecture has attracted an audience of about 100.
13th Elizabeth Chan Cheng E-lay Academic Lecture (15th April, 2009)
Professor Michael Peterson, an internationally renowned scholar in the field of cartography, was invited by the Geography Department to speak on “Maps in the age of the Internet: Current challenges and future trends” at the Elizabeth Chan Cheng E-lay Geography Academic Lecture held last week. His vivid lecture was very well attended by professionals and academics and students from within the University as well as sister institutions.
At his lecture, Professor Peterson pointed out that the Internet has redefined how maps are used. No longer restricted to paper, maps are now transmitted almost instantly to a larger number of users via the Internet and may be viewed in different forms. Professor Peterson illustrated how the Internet has led to speedy and innovative methods of map distribution as well as more interactive forms of mapping. He also shared insights on current challenges and future trends in the use of the Internet to transmit spatial information in the form of maps, and pointed out that much work lies ahead to make the Internet effective in this regard.
Currently a professor in the Department of Geography and Geology at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, USA, Professor Michael Peterson is a well-known international scholar in the fields of cartography, computer mapping and geographical information system, and specialises in interactive and animated cartography, multimedia cartography and cartography on the Internet.
12th Elizabeth Chan Cheng E-lay Academic Lecture (9th October, 2008)
Professor David Ley, one of the most respected scholars in the field of human geography in Canada, gave a lecture entitled “From Hong Kong to Canada: Millionaire Migrants, Transnational Circulation and Urban Transformation”. He spoke at the Elizabeth Chan Cheng E-lay Geography Academic Lecture organised by the Department of Geography last week.
Professor Ley, Research Chair of Geography at the University of British Columbia, shared with his audience of more than 100 policy-makers, academics and students his recent research on immigration and urban transformation.
In the 1980s and 1990s, many millionaires in Hong Kong and Taiwan moved overseas, especially to Canada. Professor Ley analysed the effects of these migrants and their economic activity in Canada. He further examined their impact on urban development in Vancouver. The importance of geography in supporting, or disrupting, migrants’ business plans and their family lives was highlighted.
11th Elizabeth Chan Cheng E-lay Academic Lecture (25th September, 2008)
Professor Chan Kam-wing, a leading scholar in the field of the urban and economic geography of Chinese cities from the University of Washington, USA, delivered a lecture on “Hukou Reforms in China and Prospect” for the Geography Department’s Elizabeth Chan Cheng E-lay Academic Lecture on 25 September. The lecture attracted an audience of more than 100 academics, government officials and students.
In recent years, China has instituted a variety of reforms to its hukou system, and many newspaper reports claim that the latest round of initiatives will lead to its abolition. In his lecture, Professor Chan addressed this issue by explaining the basic operations of the hukou system in light of the reforms, and concluded that their aim was not to abolish the hukou, but to devolve responsibility for hukou policies to local governments.
Professor Chan is renowned for his expertise in the Mainland’s migration, labour market and urban finance problems. His classic works, including “Cities with Invisible Walls: Reinterpreting Urbanization in Post-1949 China”, are among the most frequently cited in the field.
10th Elizabeth Chan Cheng E-lay Academic Lecture (10th April, 2008)
The Department of Geography organised a series of celebratory events to mark its 30th Anniversary this month. Alumni, faculty members and students also used the occasion of the 30th Anniversary to review the development of the Department and share their memories of its growth over the past three decades.
The celebrations commenced with the “Distinguished BU Geographer Academic Lecture”. This was hosted by Professor David Wong, who is an alumnus of HKBU and currently Professor and Chair of the Department of Earth Systems and GeoInformation Sciences at the George Mason University in the United States. Professor Wong shared his views on the topic: “Are Methodological Issues in Spatial Analysis and Statistics Place-Independent?”. He also made a generous donation to support student exchange programmes that will help to broaden the horizons of HKBU students.
9th Elizabeth Chan Cheng E-lay Academic Lecture (21st February, 2008)
Professor Kwan Mei-Po, Distinguished Professor of Social and Behavioral Sciences at the Department of Geography, Ohio State University, USA, was the speaker at the Geography Department’s Ninth Elizabeth Chan Cheng E-lay Geography Academic Lecture held yesterday (21 February). Professor Kwan spoke on the “Information and Communication Technologies, Social Networks, and Urban Travel: New Conceptualisations”.
Professor Kwan is a leading scholar in various subfields of geography, including the development of new analytical methods for geographical research, especially Geographical Information System-based 3D geovisualisation and geocomputation. Her work focuses on the geographical and temporal characteristics of people’s daily activities, with attention to the impact of recent social, economic and political changes on the geography of their daily activities. In her lecture, Professor Kwan shared with the audience her insights on how information and communication technologies (ICTs) such as the Internet and mobile communications have led to new practices in our family and social life, and the implications of these new practices for the study of people’s daily activity patterns and urban travel. The lecture was well-attended by academics, students and government officials.
8th Elizabeth Chan Cheng E-lay Academic Lecture (12th April , 2007)
Professor Tatsuo Kimbara, an internationally renowned expert in corporate environmental management and technological development, presented a lecture on “Environmental Management and Innovation” at the recent Elizabeth Chan Cheng E-lay Academic Lecture organised by the Geography Department.
Professor Kimbara emphasised that “sustainability” is the keyword of the 21st century. He introduced the audience to innovative views and shared insights on new approaches to managing contemporary environmental problems — particularly with regard to the corporate perspective.
Professor Kimbara is currently Dean of the Graduate School for International Development and Co-operation of Hiroshima University in Japan.
7th Elizabeth Chan Cheng E-lay Academic Lecture (15th March, 2007)
The Department of Geography held the 7th Geography Academic Lecture yesterday (15 March), with Professor John Connell of the School of Geosciences, University of Sydney. Professor Connell shared his insights on development issues of islands states in the Pacific Island Region. His lecture, entitled “The World is Not Flat: Islands, Culture and Development”, was well-attended by academics and students of Geography, and those of cognate disciplines at sister institutions.
Professor Connell is a prominent geographer with research interests in various disciplines, including political, economic, cultural and social progress in less developed countries – especially small island states in and outside the Pacific Island Region . The lecture forms part of the Elizabeth Chan Cheng E-lay Academic Lecture/Seminar Series, supported by a fund set up in 2003 from a donation by alumna Mrs. Elizabeth Chan.
6th Elizabeth Chan Cheng E-lay Academic Lecture (1st February, 2007)
The Department of Geography held the 6th Geography Academic Lecture yesterday (1 February). Renowned physical geographer Professor Brian Jones, C.R. Stelck Chair in Petroleum Geology of University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada, shared his insights from research on “Hot Springs: Precipitates and Microbes in Extreme Environments”.
As an experienced researcher of hot spring system, Professor Jones used dramatic examples from New Zealand, Africa and Iceland to demonstrate the varied characteristics of hot springs, their deposits and biological assemblages.
In the opening address, Professor Ng Ching-fai, President and Vice-Chancellor, expressed gratitude to Professor Jones for sharing his valuable findings. “The opportunities to have lectures by internationally renowned scholars at the University have always been valuable and beneficial to enhancing academic exchanges,” said President Ng.
5th Elizabeth Chan Cheng E-lay Academic Lecture (24th March, 2006)
Professor Li Si-ming, the first Geography Department scholar appointed Chair Professor, delivered his Inaugural Lecture on China’s Changing Urban Geography: A Review of Major Forces at Work on 24 March. The lecture, part of the Elizabeth Chan Cheng E-lay Geography Academic Lecture Series organised by the Geography Department, attracted more than 100 academics, guests, students and alumni. Mrs. Elizabeth Chan Cheng E-lay, founder of the Geography Academic Lecture/Seminar Fund, travelled from Bangkok to congratulate Professor Li at the lecture.
In an opening address, Professor Ng Ching-fai, President & Vice-Chancellor, paid tribute to Professor Li for his academic achievements and contributions to the University. President Ng said that through his strength of mind, perseverance, dedication and professionalism in teaching and research, Professor Li had become an internationally renowned scholar in his field. In his lecture, Professor Li, who joined the then Hong Kong Baptist College in 1980, reviewed the major forces shaping the urban landscape and geography in China during the past few decades.
4th Elizabeth Chan Cheng E-lay Academic Lecture (27th October, 2005)
More than 100 academics, government officials, guests and students attended a public lecture by Professor Robin Renaut of the University of Saskatchewan in Canada on the saline lakes of the Kenya Rift Valley. Professor Renaut, a specialist in geochemistry and continental sedimentation, is currently collaborating in research in Kenya with Professor Bernie Owen of the Geography Department. His well-illustrated and informative talk explained the geological processes that control sedimentation, fauna and flora in this dramatic part of the world. The lecture, organised by the Geography Department, was part of the “Elizabeth Chan Cheng E-lay Geography Academic Lecture Series”.
3rd Elizabeth Chan Cheng E-lay Academic Lecture (21-22 March, 2005)
The Department of Geography was honored to be able to invite Professor David Harvey to speak at the “Elizabeth Chan Cheng E-lay Geography Academic Lecture Series” on March 21 and 22 2005 respectively. Professor Harvey is a prominent geographer, whose work is well read, debated and respected in the social and human sciences. From an examination of the methodology and philosophy of geography, his theoretical underpinning has evolved to political economy and difference. From a foundation in historical geography, his interests have evolved to the process of urbanisation, cultural and artistic transformation in history and questions of spatial, environmental and political justice. These insights, and their developments, can be found in his groundbreaking and highly respected books like Social Justice and the City, The Limits to Capital, The Conditions of Postmodernity and The New Imperialism.
2nd Elizabeth Chan Cheng E-lay Academic Lecture (7 December, 2004)
1st Elizabeth Chan Cheng E-lay Academic Lecture (26 April, 2004)
To unveil the “Elizabeth Chan Cheng E-lay Geography Academic Lecture Series”, Geography Department invited Professor Ronald G. Knapp, SUNY Distinguished Professor Emeritus at the State University of New York at New Paltz, to deliver the inaugural lecture on 26 April 2004, and to conduct a public forum on the following day. The theme of the activities was on the significance and meaningfulness of Chinese traditions in folk art, craftsmanship, vernacular architecture, and the need for their preservation as part of Chinese heritage.
Professor Knapp is a well acclaimed cultural geographer. He has published over a dozen books on the historical and cultural geography of China, including walled cities, domestic houses, folk beliefs, and vernacular architecture. His lecture was entitled “In Search of China’s Domestic Landscapes”, looking into the values and meanings of China’s cultural landscapes as part of the national heritage of the country. The lecture was well attended, attracting about a hundred students and staff members of the University and professionals and guests from the University of Hong Kong, the Chinese University of Hong Kong, and the wider public.