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Science and patience

12 june 2001
Denise Pumain
Cet article est une traduction de :
Science et Patience

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1At the start of the new century, geography seems quiet, in the midst of the universe of social sciences shaken by media debates: the teaching of economics has grown top-heavy with mathematics (or rather, in fact, with the excesses of abstract formalism), sociology has been mortified by a thesis glorifying astrology—but geography is doing fine, thank you very much!

2The impatience of the social sciences, from which society demands immediate answers to its questions, even when these answers have been only imperfectly worked out by fundamental research, has scarcely grazed geography. Quiet assurance, or a flat encephalogram? The lifelessness of our public scientific debates is worrisome. The four "hotpoints" of Cybergeo keep their eye on the basic questions and periodically reactivate them, but many other subjects merit discussion: globalization that increases inequalities, networks that upset territories, new forms of intercommunality in France, of regionalization in Europe… It is not a matter of commenting on current events for the sake of current events (geographers perhaps have a right to have nothing to say about Loft Story), but of using controversy and dispute judiciously, in order to develop ideas.

3The European colloquium of Theoretical and Quantitative Geography, which will be held at Saint-Valéry en Caux, from September 7-11, 2001, organized by Yves Guermond, offers a place for such discussion and exchange. The summaries of the talks are in the rubric News of Cybergeo. So—let impatience take you over for a while, and come to enliven the debate!

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Denise Pumain, « Science and patience », Cybergeo : European Journal of Geography [En ligne], Éditoriaux, mis en ligne le 12 juin 2001, consulté le 19 février 2019. URL :

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