Long standing QMRG member Professor Ron Johnston (University of Bristol) has been given a lifetime achievement award from the Association of American Geographers (AAG). Johnston, has been a major influence on the discipline both through his research and writing and his professional engagement. His scholarly productivity has always been exceptional, now standing in aggregate at over 50 authored or co-authored books, 41 edited or co-edited books, and more than 800 papers in refereed journals and chapters in major books. The quality of this work is also exceptional: Professor Johnston has made transformative contributions to several sub-fields within human geography. In urban geography, he has built on pioneering work using small-area census data and multivariate statistical procedures and studies of exclusionary zoning and segregation in the USA to recent work on comparative studies of ethnic residential segregation. In political geography his innovative work on voting behaviour and sources of bias in election results continues with studies of entropy maximizing and electoral bias in more complex electoral systems and with detailed analyses of the funding of constituency parties and their election campaigns. His work on the history of geography includes a seminal work of scholarly synthesis – Geography and Geographers – together with archival studies of major changes in the practice of human geography; detailed biographical studies; and major essays on geography in important works of reference. His founding involvement with the Dictionary of Human Geography, meanwhile, is an important contribution to the definition and development of the contemporary discipline.
Throughout his career Professor Johnston has been deeply engaged in academic leadership and citizenship. Within geography, he has served as the elected President of the Institute of British Geographers; he has served as editor of the New Zealand Geographer and as co-editor of two major journals: Environment and Planning A and Progress in Human Geography. He is currently the editor of the Proceedings of the British Academy. He has served a very wide range of scholarly and professional bodies including the International Geographical Union; British National Committee for Geography; the Geographical Association; the Council for National Academic Awards; the Joint Matriculation Board; the United Kingdom Universities Funding Council, and the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission.
In broader scope, he has served as Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Academic Affairs at the University of Sheffield and as Vice-Chancellor of the University of Essex; and he currently serves as Deputy Electoral Commissioner and Member of the Boundary Committee for England. Above all, perhaps, his humanity shines through his work, not only in his scholarship but also in his public engagement and his commitment to the discipline, its practitioners, workers and institutions at all levels.
Well done Ron!