tus. His map was reproduced by Ortelius (1527–1598) in his atlas Theatrum Orbis Terrarum (1570). The importance put in the University of Kraków on the teaching of geography is shown by the collection of globes from this period, especially the Jagiellonian Globe, which has come down to our times. It was made in 1511 and was the earliest in the world to show America as a separate continent, marked as America noviter reperta. Another discipline associated with geography which made its first appearance in Kraków at this time was meteorology, with Theoria ventorum (Würzburg, 1596), a theoretical publication by Andrzej Mirowski, a scholar born around the mid-16th century, who based his work on Hippocrates and Aristotle. In 1631 the Chair of Practical Geometry was founded at the University of Kraków, and was the first chair of surveying and cartography in Europe. One of the individuals who helped to create it was the distinguished mathematician and astronomer Jan Brożek (Ioannes Broscius,
1585–1652), a professor at the University and Poland’s first historian of science. Brożek conducted climatological measurements, lectured in geography, and made plans for the compilation of a map of Poland. He was an ardent enthusiast of Copernicus and Columbus, and donated the Jagiellonian Globe to the University. The introduction of new advances in geography in the teaching at Kraków, along with a departure from the old method of making students learn everything by heart and instead getting them to follow a rationalised system to build up their knowledge, and reference in classes and textbooks to the observable reality – all this made Kraków’s geography attractive and drew in students from Germany and Silesia who later earned a reputation as well-known humanists regarded as innovators in geography. The students of the University of Kraków at this time came from many parts of Poland-Lithuania and throughout Europe. Most of the peregrine students came from Silesia, Prussia, Hungary, Transylvania, Bohemia, and Slovakia.
After the Renaissance geography at Kraków lost some of its importance for a time, but it was still present in the life of the University. A revival came during the Enlightenment, inspired by influences from Western Europe stimulating intellectual affairs. This was a process which continued even when Poland lost its independence and statehood and the following period (1772–1918). The activities of the National Commission of Education, Europe’s first ministry of education (1773–1794) and the reform of the University carried out by Hugo Kołłątaj (1750–1812) brought a distinctive impetus for revitalisation. The mid-19th century saw the foundation of the Chair of Geography at the Jagiellonian University, the first of its kind in the Polish territories and the second to be established in the whole of Europe (after Berlin, 1820). It was created by Wincenty Pol (1807–1872). Its operations, from 1849 to 1852, marked the beginning of the development of modern geography in Poland.
Honorary Professor of the Jagiellonian University
The Regional Conference of the International Geographical Union (18–22 August 2014) In August 2014 the Institute of Geography and Spatial Management at the Jagiellonian University will be the host of the largest geographical conference organised by the International Geographical Union (IGU). IGU conferences have been organised since 1922 when the Union was established, each year in a different country. So far Poland has been chosen only twice: in 1934 and 2014. We expect about 1600 participants from 80 countries. The main theme of the conference is Changes, Challenges, Responsibility. The world has entered the second decade of the 21st century confronted with serious environmental, social, and economic problems. We can observe numerous CHANGES in both the natural and human systems, significantly influencing the present and future well-being of societies. Alongside the well-known links and interactions between the two types of system, new ones are emerging, e.g. economic growth which is not sustainable is causing environmental degradation and contributing to social and political problems that have a spatial aspect. Modern geography is facing significant research CHALLENGES, as its aim is to help citizens understand the world we live in better. Interdisciplinary research is becoming more and more important as the best tool to combine a holistic approach with very advanced knowledge and techniques from the particular branches of geography. Additionally, the results of scientific activity are the subject of public debate at the local, regional, and global level, and are involved in the process of shaping societies’ awareness of environmental issues at the local, regional, and global level. One of the key tasks for modern geography is to help citizens become more aware of their RESPONSIBILITY for the future of our world. To achieve that goal we shall have to make research results more accessible to non-specialists. Life-long education is especially needed in the environmental sciences. This Conference is going to be an event contributing to the efforts undertaken by institutions like ICSU/ISSC Future Earth to define pathways towards sustainability and respond effectively to the risks and opportunities of global environmental change. The President of the Republic of Poland, Mr. Bronisław Komorowski, is the Honorary Patron of this Conference, which is part of the programme of celebrations for the jubilee of alma mater No.the 166Jagiellonian University’s 650th Anniversary of Foundation. 32
Alma Mater 166