Geography vital in modern world: Palin

Veteran traveller Michael Palin has talked about the 'magic appeal' of studying geography.
Veteran traveller Michael Palin has talked about the 'magic appeal' of studying geography.

Veteran traveller Michael Palin says books and maps were always interesting to him when he was young but it was going on school excursions that really fired up his interest in the world.

The writer, broadcaster and actor is talking up the role of geography as a school subject and says it's vital in the modern world as it broadens minds and encourages an understanding of different countries and cultures.

"Geography is no longer just something which you learn from a book and a map and that's it. It's very much now a collaborative thing," Palin told the Press Assocation.

"The world is out there, you can go and see for yourself, very often now for very small amounts of money, what the world looks like, and I think that's a great opportunity.

"The world is much more accessible, and I think it is hugely important that we understand the world and why countries are where they are, why live they how they do, what the climate is, what they produce."

Palin's comments come as geography continues to soar in popularity as a high school subject choice in England, having risen 36 per cent between 2012 and 2017.

He puts the rise in part down to technology which means people can very easily and quickly communicate with people no matter where they are in the world.

"I think that helps, that stimulates the curiosity, which is a very important part of learning about the rest of the world," he said.

Australian Associated Press