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Vol. 13, no. 1 1986

Interdisciplinary involvement and the importance of people

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Prothero, R. Mansell 1986: Interdisciplinary Involvement
and The Importance of People. Cambria, Vol. 13(1), pp. 63
to pp. 77. Part III of Davies, W.K.D. (ed) Human
Geography from Wales: Proceedings of the E.G.Bowen
Memorial Conference. ISSN 0306-9796.
A review of the need for people orientated and interdisciplinary work in
dealing with the problems of underdeveloped countries, particularly
those of growth and migration. The need to understand the personal
situations of migrants is stressed as is the way in which migration is
often linked to the spread of diseases such as malaria. It is concluded
that it is not enough to plan for people, it is essential to plan with
R. Mansell Prothero, Dept. of Geography, University of
Liverpool, P.O. Box 147, Liverpool, England, L69 3BX.
A Personal Introduction
Since this is an occasion for rememberance I have felt that it would be appropriate
to approach it in a personal manner. My paper outlines some of the work associated with
two major themes in my academic career interdisciplinary involvement and the importance
of people. The first does not require any explanation. The second is significant in two
senses as involving a major concern in teaching and research, but also because individual
persons have in a variety of ways contributed to the development of this concern, and also
to a markedly interdisciplinary involvement.
For me it is remarkable how the influence of people, and also of events, has over
time contributed, largely in a fortuitous fashion, to what seems to have pattern and
coherence. There has been a strong element of serendipity unexpected and pleasant things
occurring by accident not so much through my own sagacity for achieving this but rather
through this quality in those with whom I have been fortunate to be associated.
Originating in the Highland Zone I am conscious of tradition and continuity, are
not all of us who sat at the feet of EGB whether in 11 Marine Terrace (as I did) or on the
moorlands of mid-Wales? This brought a consciousness of the long-established
interdiciplinary tradition of the Department, originating with Fleure and further developed
by Daryll Forde and by E.G. Bowen (EGB). His course on the 'History of Early
Civilizations' moved me for some time towards Archaeology, and his concern for people,
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