One consequence of the fragmentation of their discipline and the consequent lack of awareness amongst human geographers of what is being done by many of their colleagues is misrepresentation of certain types of work – in textbooks, for example. Amongst the areas often misrepresented in recent years are those commonly categorised by such terms as ‘spatial science’ and ‘quantitative analysis’. Critics of these areas often write as if the type of work undertaken in the 1960s–1970s still characterises them today, with little appreciation of contemporary activities. This article responds to such claims by presenting the current nature of work in those areas – very different from that of several decades ago – and makes the case for their inclusion in curricula so that students (most of whom will not proceed to research in the areas) can appreciate the underlying principles of quantitative analyses and their important role in the formation of an informed citizenry in data-driven, evidence-based policy societies.
Bibliographical noteThe full debate is to be found at Dialogues in Human Geography, March 2014; Vol. 4, No. 1 http://dhg.sagepub.com/content/4/1?etoc
The original paper is Ron Johnston, Richard Harris, Kelvyn Jones, David Manley, Clive E Sabel, and Wenfei Winnie Wang (2014) Mutual misunderstanding and avoidance, misrepresentations and disciplinary politics: spatial science and quantitative analysis in (United Kingdom) geographical curricula Dialogues in Human Geography 2014; 4:3-25 doi:10.1177/2043820614525706 see: http://dhg.sagepub.com/content/4/1/3.abstract.html?etoc
Our reply to our critics in its shortened form is: Ron Johnston, Richard Harris, Kelvyn Jones, David Manley, Clive E Sabel, and Wenfei Winnie Wang (2014) One step forward but two steps back to the proper appreciation of spatial science Dialogues in Human Geography 2014; 4:59-69 doi:10.1177/2043820614526818 See http://dhg.sagepub.com/content/4/1/59.abstract.html?etoc
There is also an extended version stored on the Pure respository attached to the published shortened version.
- quantitative methods
- spatial science