Prof Christopher Smout recieves Geddes Medal

Press Release
26th March 2014
For Immediate Release

Professor Christopher Smout honoured by Royal Scottish Geographical Society

Professor Christopher Smout was awarded with the Royal Scottish Geographical Society's Geddes Environment Medal at an event in Perth Concert Hall on Monday 24th March.

Professor Christopher Smout is Historiographer Royal in Scotland. After thirty two years at Edinburgh University, Smout founded the Institute for Environmental History and Policy at the University of St Andrews, and served as the Institute's director from 1992 to 2001. His contributions to Environmental history helped to establish this relatively new discipline in Scotland, and drew on the close overlap with historical geography.

The Geddes Environment Medal is named after Sir Patrick Geddes, an innovative town planner and early RSGS Council Member.

Professor Smout has used Geddesian principles throughout his career. He has used maps, topographic views and photographs - tools promoted by Geddes, a visual thinker - to illustrate Scotland's changing landscapes.

Smout's inter-disciplinary research and writings, have been concerned with issues of conservation and sustainability. His recent publication The Firth of Forth contextualises such matters using case studies of herring fishing, oyster beds, pollution, seals, seabirds and the Bass Rock from Mesolithic times - a historical study of 'place, folk and work' reminiscent of a Geddesian 'Valley Section'.

RSGS President Professor Iain Stewart handed over the award In recognition of his contribution to Environmental history and the great value of the inter-disciplinary nature of Professor Smout's work.

Previous recipients of the Award include photographer and filmaker Yann Arthus-Bertrand, the crew of the Plastiki and the couple behind the Fife Diet, Mike and Karen Small.

Editors Notes

Media Contact: Fraser Shand,, 01738 646141

The RSGS is an educational charity which believes that people with a better understanding of geography develop a better understanding of place, together with a greater insight into sustainability, equality and the world in general. The Society was established in 1884, and is now based in Perth.