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The University of Southampton
Geography and Environmental Science

Respected Southampton geographer becomes Emeritus Professor

Published: 26 November 2013

Steven Pinch, Professor of Geography has been awarded the title Emeritus Professor following his retirement after 37 years at the University of Southampton. Senate members made the decision after learning of his academic achievements in economic and social geography.

Steven's research into spatial patterns of welfare services and spatial inequalities in welfare provision broke new ground in the UK and his book on this topic was well-received and highly influential. It raised many unresolved questions about uneven geographies of access to state and collective services and was one of the first substantial texts in a topical and vibrant research area. He has extended that work in recent years by researching the uneven geographies of social enterprises in the UK.

He was also interested in the economic and social consequences of industrial restructuring and the transition to a service economy, highlighting in this work some of the key effects of economic restructuring for social polarisation, household formation and inequality. This research, based on the Solent area, has been published in leading international journals, but was also recognised for integrating University research with some of the most pressing social problems in the region at that time.

Steven's third major research contribution was the Economic and Social Research Council-funded research with Nick Henry on the subject of why specialist companies clustered in Britain's Motor Sport Valley in Oxfordshire. They identified and studied activities in the area and analysed some of the knowledge exchange processes behind this business cluster. The project was reported in the national business press and led to the development of policy initiatives to support and promote Motorsport Valley.

An analysis of citations per article by the Journal of Economic Geography recently identified Steven as one of the top fifty of the world's most influential economic geographers. His work has maintained, and continues to maintain, a high international profile and has made a major contribution to building the reputation of Southampton as a leading centre for economic geography.

Head of Geography and Environment, Professor Stephen Darby, praises Steven's achievement: "I am delighted that the University have recognised Steven's contributions in this way. Few individuals accrue such a length of service at a single institution, but fewer still have made such consistently distinguished contributions over such a lengthy period. I am very pleased that Steven's association with Geography at Southampton will continue in to the future."

Professor Judith Petts, Dean of the Faculty of Social and Human Sciences adds: "We are delighted that Steven has been made Emeritus Professor upon his retirement and that Steven will be able to continue to contribute to our leading research profile in economic geography. Such contributions from leading colleagues are an essential element of our work and profile."

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