The American Geographical Society (AGS) announced Prof. Andrew Blowers, Emeritus Professor at The Open University, received the Alexander and Ilse Melamid Medal on November 16, 2018. The medal was presented to Prof. Blowers in a ceremony held during the Society’s annual Fall Symposium, held at Columbia University November 16th and 17th.
Prof. Andrew Blowers has made extensive contributions in the application of geographic principles to energy, planning, and humankind – working in academia, politics, government, and in his retirement, as an anti-nuclear campaigner. Prof. Blowers was one of the ‘pioneer’ academics who helped set up The Open University (OU) in 1970, where he taught and held numerous positions over the years. Among his prolific publications is his most recent book The Legacy of Nuclear Power, which takes a historical and geographical perspective on the dynamic relationship between local communities and the nuclear industry. Prof. Blowers worked with the Government to deal with the management of radioactive waste, and drafted policy on partnership and voluntarism.
In his remarks to the audience after receiving the Melamid Medal, Prof. Blowers said, “My lifelong interest as a geographer and social scientist has been the relationship between place, environment, people, and communities. My core concern has been with inequality and especially with the idea and reality of ‘peripheral’ communities, places at the margin which experience economic, social, political, and environmental disadvantage.” Dr. Deborah Popper, AGS Vice President, Chairman of the Honors & Exploration Committee noted, “Andrew’s work has pushed the public’s understanding of how we manage radioactive waste and what that means for society. AGS is proud to honor him for his contributions and meaningful dedication to education, public service, and our understanding of the complex interactions between energy and humankind.”