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In the Middle of the World: the Center and its Networks

12 october 2001
Denise Pumain
Cet article est une traduction de :
Au milieu du monde : le centre et ses réseaux

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1The return to the University at the end of the summer break is always a key moment when geographers meet together.  Each network chooses a centre, temporary or habitual, a meeting place that both materializes (makes concrete) and symbolizes the need for human contact, and the need to be there, for scientific communication:  Saint-Valéry-en-Caux, the 12th European Colloquium for Theoretical and Quantitative Geography, Montpellier, the Thematic School of the CNRS on models and simulation, Montpellier again, Cassini Days (GDR SIGMA) for geomatics, Saint-Dié, the 12th International Festival, about the geographical dimension of innovation.

2But the reality of this September has given to us as geographers many other subjects for discussion and meditation.  This is not the place to express the horror and the emotion we feel in the face of the violence and the calamity, nor even the obvious sympathy for the victims of these misfortunes, whoever they are.  Geographers in the midst of the world, is it not up to us to comment upon the risk—urban or planetary—to indicate where the centres are, how  the networks are faring, what centres may be hidden behind the networks, or the discourse of networks, and to anticipate for the community the territories they are preparing for us?

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Denise Pumain, « In the Middle of the World: the Center and its Networks », Cybergeo : European Journal of Geography [En ligne], Éditoriaux, mis en ligne le 12 octobre 2001, consulté le 22 juin 2018. URL :

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