Geografie 1977, 82, 1-9

The 23rd International Geographical Congress in the USSR

Jaromír Demek

The author deals in his paper with the valuation of the 23rd International Geographical Congress organized in the USSR in July and August 1976. The Congress was held under the motto "Geography and the scientific-technical revolution". The author believes that the course of the Congress has shown the rightness of this motto since in the course of the scientific-technical revolution increases the social and economic significance of synthetic sciences and among them even of geography. The orientation of geography towards the solution of basic questions of modern mankind - such as rational utilization of natural resources, protection of environment, spatial dislocation of population and of production capacities - results in the fact that geography again occupies its position among fundamental sciences. In the author's opinion the symposia in the first part of the Congress and specialized general symposia and working meetings in the course of the Moscow part of the Congress were of greatest significance. The sympozia connected with the meetings of the commissions of the International Geographical Union [IGU) allowed to concentrate teams of specialists dealing with important problems of modern geography. The general symposia and working meetings in the course of the Moscow part of the Congress enabled thanks to the iniciative of the Soviet organizing committee outstanding world-known geographers to take up an attitude to problems very perspective for geography. The author also appreciates some new features of the Congress such as the discussions at panels with documentary material. In the conclusion he greatly appreciates the care given by the Soviet organizing committee and the big team of Soviet geographers to the scientific preparation and organization of the Congress. In his opinion the 23rd International Geographical Congress has been the greatest world meeting of geographers so far not only as to the record number of participants but even as to the significance of scientific problems discussed at the Congress.