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Austrian Geographical Society (Österreichische Geographische Gesellschaft)

The Austrian Geographical Society was founded in 1856 and is the eighth-oldest still existing society of this type in the world.

During the 19th century, the society's function was the promotion of research in the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy as well as abroad and to publish its results. It was the meeting point of well-educated upper classes, namely members of the nobility, of the military and of the academia, interested in foreign countries and striving for encyclopaedic knowledge. The Geographical Society was, however, not only a social forum for exchanging ideas and information, but also an important benefactor of geographical research by supporting it financially.

The break up of the monarchy brought the end of the Society's heyday period. In the interwar period, it was extremely difficult to finance any activities. In spite of that, the Society made efforts to support publications, research and excursions into foreign countries. Thus, during the thirties, excursions to Iceland, Norway and North Africa were funded. The Society still was the forum for those interested in foreign countries, adventure and environmental phenomena.

The collapse after World War II was more serious than after World War I. The goals of Austrian geography, namely to play a significant role in the exploration of the world, to be of social and political relevance and one of the leading scientific disciplines became obsolete after 1945. The re-institutionalisation of the Society was arduous and slow. No extended excursions could be financed, but series of lectures and occasional exhibitions were regularly organised, and the Mitteilungen der Österreichischen Geographischen Gesellschaft (MÖGG) were published.

In 2006, the Austrian Geographical Society will celebrate its 150th anniversary. It is still an important institution though its functions underwent fundamental changes. Every year, the Mitteilungen were published, the only relevant journal in Austrian geography, and the MÖGG and the Geographische Zeitschrift in Germany.

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President:
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Professor Zoltán Kovács


EC Members:

Antoine

Professor
Antoine Le Blanc

ana

Professor
Ana Pejdo

Kathy Reilly

Professor
Kathy Reilly

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Professor 
Christian Vandermotten

  

 Secretary-General:

Tabusi100x113

Professor Massimiliano Tabusi

Past President:

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Professor 
Henk Ottens