Geographers in the United States frequently express concern that their discipline's potential contributions to the understanding of contemporary society (including society-nature interrelations) and resolution of some of its major problems are underrecognized and undervalued. Understanding the Changing Planet (National Research Council 2010) is the latest in a series of reports addressed at policymakers, the scientific community, and its funders seeking to rectify that situation. It covers the geographical sciences more generally rather than geography specifically and pays particular attention to society-nature interrelations but does those disciplines something of a disservice with its greater emphasis on the infrastructure for data collection, visualization, and analysis at the expense of explanation and theory. It successfully promotes some aspects of the disciplines but largely ignores other vibrant and important parts. Its long-term impact is uncertain.
- Geographical sciences
- Problem solving