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School of Geography

Remembering Emeritus Professor David Smith

We are sorry to report the passing of Emeritus Professor David Smith, who was Head of Department for the School of Geography from 1981 to 1985. Professor Matthew Hilton, Vice-Principal (Humanities and Social Sciences), writes to reflect on Professor Smith's academic career.

 

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The whole University was tremendously saddened to hear of Emeritus Professor David Smith’s passing on Saturday. David had been in ill health for some time, but passed away surrounded by his loved ones. The date for the funeral has not been set yet, but David’s daughter Tes will let us know in due course for those who would like to attend and pay their respects.

For those who did not know David, he was a much loved figure within the School of Geography. He was at Queen Mary for 28 years, serving as Head of Department from 1981 to 1985, before retiring in 2001. In recognition of everything that he did here, the David M Smith Lecture was established shortly after his retirement, with the next iteration taking place in just over two weeks’ time.

His academic career covered a hugely impressive array of subjects within the field, notably industrial archaeology, location theory, welfare economics, inequality and the relationship between Geography and moral philosophy. He influenced so many around him, not to mention the teachings of the Geography Department to this day.

His passing leaves a huge hole within Queen Mary. And while we will continue celebrating his work and legacy, we will all miss him greatly.