Geography Matters is a series of short articles, videos and podcasts by geographers from across the university. Whether you’re thinking about studying with the OU, looking for some extra reading between modules, or just wanting to learn more about Geography, the Geography Matters collection is the place to be.
What does the geography of the referendum vote tell us about the (increasingly dis-) United Kingdom?Read now ❯Approaching the break up of Britain?
This free course, From Brexit to the break-up of Britain?, sets the experience of Brexit in the context of the UK. It first analyses Brexit as a symptom of the political, economic and social geography of the UK, focusing on its uneven development in a country increasingly dominated by London and the South East of England. It then considers how the divisions within the UK (within England as well as between England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland) were reflected in the voting patterns of the 2016 referendum. Finally, the course reflects on the implications of these short-term and long-term trends for the UK’s future as a multinational state.Learn more ❯From Brexit to the break-up of Britain?
How are the civil war in Syria, the remote Norwegian island of Spitsbergen, and the future of the world’s food supplies connected?Listen now ❯Syria, Spitsbergen and Seeds
How does tax avoidance create links between distant places and people? Why is something legal associated with such secrecy and morally dubious behaviour? Michael Pryke explains.Listen now ❯The Secret Geographies of Finance
Steve Pile looks at the changing geographies of sugar.Read now ❯Another spoonful? Understanding the Place of Sugar - Part Two
Sugar is a Contradiction - explore the cultural paradox of this ubiquitous ingredient, with Professor Steve Pile.Read now ❯One Lump or Two? Understanding the Place of Sugar - Part One
How do national parks manage the demands of different users, whilst still conserving natural beauty?Read now ❯Protecting Landscapes and Creating the Right Tools for the Job
How do local communities respond to the risks and opportunities of nuclear power?Listen now ❯The Legacy of Nuclear Power: Part 1
Peter Wood shares his experiences researching cyclists - on both sides of the Atlantic.Listen now ❯Researching cycling in the US & the UK
Despite voters in 2014 choosing to stay in the United Kingdom, Gerry Mooney believes that in the long run, an Independent Scotland is inevitable. He explains why.Listen now ❯Why I believe 'yes' is only a matter of time
What can family photos tell us about households, gender roles and emerging technology? Professor Gillian Rose explores her research on family photography, and how this work interacts with her own experiences.Watch now ❯Family photos and what they mean
Does geography influence peoples’ sense of security and well-being?Watch now ❯Coping on the Coast: moral economies and liminality at the heart of things that matter
What technological challenges are faced by communities seeking to understand environmental change at different geographical scales?Read now ❯‘Citizen sensing’ and new forms of environmental monitoring
The UK government has confirmed that despite the path chosen by the US, the UK would honour the Paris Agreement. Here Shonil Bhagwat looks at the motivations and implications behind the US decision, and how international action on climate change will go on.Read now ❯Should we be worried about the US withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement?
The recent UK general election saw many parties pledge to ‘improve’ the environment. Vicky Johnson considers progress can be measured by more closely connecting the environment to economics.Listen now ❯Should Economics and the Environment work together?
What is a ‘smart city’, and how is smart rooted into Milton Keynes’ past and future?Watch now ❯How is Milton Keynes a ‘smart’ city?
Learn about MK’s unique history of transport innovation, and how The Open University has been a part of the experiment.Watch now ❯Milton Keynes and the roots of 'Smart' transport
Why research Milton Keynes? Professor Gillian Rose introduces a study of how cities are increasingly using digital data to improve their management and create new ways of living.Watch now ❯Smart Cities in the Making: Learning from Milton Keynes
Sir David Attenborough and The Open University have had a long-standing relationship since the university's birth. David explains how that relationship came about and how it has developed over the years.Watch now ❯Sir David Attenborough and The Open University
Where is Weetabix actually from? Prof. John Allen investigates.Read now ❯The Curious Geography of Weetabix: A Cereal Tale for Our Times
Stories about migrants, asylum seekers and refugees make media headlines almost every day. John Allen asks, what's the role of borders in this movement of people?Read now ❯Europe’s Borders in Question
A new initiative Geography Matters is coming to the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.Read now ❯Introducing Geography Matters
Dr Philp O'Sullivan reflects on the changing geographical relationship between the UK and Ireland.Read now ❯Brexit and the Irish border
Nick Bingham discusses 'smart cities' and how digital technologies are changing the ways in which cities are planned and maintained.Read now ❯Digital urban infrastructures: Smart cities in the making
How did a public utlity turn into a financial instrument?Read now ❯Privatising Thames Water
How do we see the internet? Gillian Rose explores why some artists and campaigners think it's important that the internet is made more visible.Read now ❯Seeing the internet
Is climate change the kale smoothie of TV schedules: unappealing but somehow fashionable and even essential to the diet?Read now ❯Climate change: the kale smoothie of TV
Trump's wall will not only have long-lasting impact on human society, but also severe ecological consequences.Read now ❯The environmental costs of Trump’s wall
Now that building a third runway at Heathrow ariport is offical government policy, we explore the costs and benefits of expanding Heathrow, using a geographical analysis.Read now ❯Heathrow third runway: who and where will benefit?
Introducing a collection of articles asking 'How can unique and distinctive regions, like the West of Ireland, retain the qualities that make them unique while continuing to modernise and interact with the wider world?'Read now ❯Change in the West of Ireland
According to some estimates the snows of Kilimanjaro could vanish completely by 2030.Read now ❯The vanishing snows of Mount Kilimanjaro
The question of how Hungary approaches the memories of its Communist past has echoes for all cities with painful pasts.Read now ❯What is to be done about Lenin? Coping with the relics of past regimes
As people come to live in urban spaces, how do they come to terms with their surroundings? Gillian Rose explains some of the ways we make sense of our modern surroundings.Listen now ❯Mapping the city, taming the city
Johanna Wadsley from Hugging The Coast discusses her interest in environmental issues.Read now ❯Johanna Wadsley's diary
Eleven years since the 7/7 bombings, we look back at unity in London after the terror attacks. There's also a podcast on building the memorial.Read now ❯London inside out
OU Researcher Pete Wood and Dr Frauke Behrendt from the University of Brighton blaze a trail through the links between bikes and new mobilitiesRead now ❯Bicycle enlightenment
Shonil Bhagwat discusses how climate change includes the four common tenets of belief systems.Watch now ❯Climate change as a belief system
The public have been badly served by politics and the media on climate change. The presence of a David Attenborough blockbuster on the topic in a primetime slot shows things have changed for the better in the past year or two.Read now ❯What shall we tell the children?
‘Can we survive in freedom?’ The relationship between democracy and sustainability was framed in these terms by a prominent political scientist more than fifteen years ago.Read now ❯Democracy and sustainability: Can we survive in freedom?
Dr Peter Wood, a Visiting Fellow with the Geography Discipline, argues that although methodological choices are often seen as technical decisions, they can actually be key to intellectual creativity.Read now ❯Methods in Motion: Getting on your bike, and looking for answers
Humour has a part to play in getting the message about climate change across.Read now ❯How many lightbulb jokes does it take to save the world?
Joe Smith considers the environmental cost of a third runway at Heathrow airportRead now ❯Predict and provide (and pollute)
Are we coming to terms with nuclear power - or is a push for reactors masking a need to reduce consumption?Read now ❯Nuclear power - yes please?
Joe Smith suggests that we need to think of climate change as an everyday problem - and suggests using tax as a possible solution.Read now ❯Climate Change isn't special
As we approach the Copenhagen climate conference, Joe Smith suggests that we put too much emphasis on single eventsRead now ❯Copenhagen is the last chance to save the world
The Open University's Joe Smith sets the scene, in the run up to the Copenhagen climate talks.Read now ❯After Kyoto
Greenpeace’s 40th birthday is a good time to stop and ask where environmentalism is going. The OU's Joe Smith does just that in this thought-provoking article.Read now ❯Environmentalism at 40: middle age spread or new lease of life?
It might be useful to remind ourselves of the qualities that never come to be calculated when we take stock of our own and others’ worth to society.Read now ❯What exactly does 'worthy' look like?
Why do teachers get paid so much less than some other professionals?Read now ❯Valuing teachers
Is education in Northern Ireland a vehicle for social cohesion or for perpetuating community divisions?Read now ❯Education in Northern Ireland: segregation, division and sectarianism?
The sight of UKIP's Nigel Farage in deep water prompted Joe Smith to write a personal note with a generous offer of help.Read now ❯Taken at the flood: An open letter to Nigel Farage