Griffifth Taylor Lecture 2010
Every second year through my involvement in the Geographical Society of NSW we invite a guest academic to present the Griffith Taylor Lecture. Griffith Taylor was the Foundation Chair of Geography at the University of Sydney and the lecture was given within a couple of 100m of where Grif worked.
This year’s lecture was give by Professor Peter Phibbs currently at the University of Western Sydney.
His work is in urban research and planning and he through considerable insight into urban planning projects in Sydney such and the Cumberland rail line and the “pinkbats” industry. His interesting observation was that the government’s decisions on pink bats was flawed in not understanding the nature and culture of the industry even though suitable guidelines were in place.
What grabbed my attention as an ICT integrator as well as a Geographer was his view of getting research onto the tables of policy makers and Peter went through some interesting examples of average research making it to the tables of policy makers and the solid research just not been marketed well enough.
Just being there at a lecture was important to me because these days I don’t get to wander the doors of Fisher Stack looking at Journals let alone have access to the databases. Here is a resource from the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute for example which will be great for my Year 12 Geography
In question time I could not resist the temptation of seeing where he thought social media as the conduit between research and policy could fit in. At one stage the President, Kevin Dunn asked how would have Griffith Taylor operated in our era and he said “he would have run amock” which was really funny. Peter cited an article that Griffith wrote that gave 115 self references. – imagine what he would have been like with a blog and Twitter?