How do Geographers get to know things?

Our student assessment blog series continues and this week’s winning blog piece was co-authored by School of Geography students: Samuel Beagley, Hannah Jones, Shannon Kelly, Mitchell Moulds, Zoe Smith and Olivia Whyte.

Prof Lewin is a Visiting Professor at the University of Lincoln UK.

Their blog post surmises a lecture delivered by our School’s Visiting Professor of River Systems, Prof John Lewin.

How do Geographers get to know things? 

What is knowledge? Knowledge is something which you have a strong degree of certainty and understanding about. Geography involves the worldwide knowledge of spatial diversity on a global and local scale (including the study of people, societies, habitations, environment and the relations between these).

In his talk, Professor John Lewin explained the process of gaining knowledge on a topic. Firstly, there will be a concept (the idea based on general knowledge) then a method on how to investigate this will be made, the data from this research will then be analysed and conclusions will be drawn which can be presented. He expressed how gaining knowledge can be quite subjective as an individual’s approach and perspective of a topic could potentially vary, yet their conclusions they draw may be similar, making it hard for individuals to gain their own interpretations from academic journals.

By contrast, the interpretation of data can present a wide variety of conclusions as the analysis of data may be agreed amongst academics yet the points they choose to get to their conclusions may differ.  From this wide-reachnig lecture covering many aspects of geography, we learned that knowledge and understanding of geographical concepts and their interpretations will be different to each person.