The American Association of Geographers has selected Noam Chomsky as the recipient of its 2017 AAG Atlas Award, the association’s highest honor.

The AAG Atlas Award is designed to recognize and celebrate outstanding, internationally-recognized leaders who advance world understanding in exceptional ways. The image of Atlas bearing the weight of the world on his shoulders is a powerful metaphor for this award program, as our nominees are those who have taken the weight of the world on their shoulders and moved it forward, whether in science, politics, scholarship, or the arts. Primatologist Jane Goodall, international human rights and political leader Mary Robinson, and civil rights icon Julian Bond have been the recipients of the first three AAG Atlas Awards.

One of the world’s leading public intellectuals, Noam Chomsky has written and lectured widely on linguistics, philosophy, science, history, contemporary issues, international affairs, and US foreign policy. His work on the nature of human language and communication has profoundly transformed the field of linguistics, and greatly influenced science and philosophy more broadly. “In terms of the power, range, novelty and influence of his thought, Noam Chomsky is arguably the most important intellectual alive today, “ wrote Paul Robinson in the New York Times Book Review.

Chomsky’s wide-ranging intellect and impassioned work have long inspired geographers. And his highly-regarded contributions on contemporary topics concerning globalization and the intersections between geography, economics and politics are of great interest to AAG members. Noam Chomsky is Institute Professor and Professor of Linguistics emeritus at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

A Continuing Conversation with Noam Chomsky

Noam Chomsky will engage in a conversational interview with AAG Executive Director Doug Richardson, as he has several times previously, at this year’s AAG Annual Meeting in Boston. The audience will have an opportunity to ask questions following the interview.

This special interview with Chomsky will also serve as the keynote session to kick off Mainstreaming Human Rights in Geography and the AAG, one of three main Themes of the 2017 AAG Annual Meeting. Learn more.