Digital Libraries Network is for health librarians and trainers in the UK, interested in promotion and training.

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

Geographic Illiteracy and National Security

This was the title of the Keynote address here at Medical Library Association conference in Washington DC. Harm J. de Blij gave a very entertaining and informative talk on the state of geographical literacy in the United States, where only 18% of children are taught geography in schools. His premise was that this has horrifying implications for the country at a time when awareness of the connectivity of the world in spatial terms is crucial to world stability. He said the US is in a race against time with three key threats to national security: environmental change and global warming; the inevitable competition with the China as the next aspiring super power; and the terrorist threat in Iraq.

He also had some very amusing insights into the decline of the British Empire and why you should never trust a Brit in the dark!

Sara Whittaker


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