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Taylor, Griffith (1880–1963)

  • By: Barney Warf
  • In: Encyclopedia of Geography
  • Edited by: Barney Warf
  • Subject:General Geography, Earth & Environmental Science

Thomas Griffith Taylor was an important figure in early-20th-century geography as an advocate of the doctrine of environmental determinism and social Darwinism.

British by birth, his family moved to New South Wales, Australia, when he was a young teenager. He earned a BSc at Sydney and returned to Cambridge for his BA. Trained in engineering, geology, and meteorology, he was selected from 7,000 applicants to serve on Robert Scott's ill-fated Antarctic Terra Nova Expedition in 1911, focusing on that continent's influence on Australia. He led a second expedition there later that year and drew some of the first maps of that continent. On his return to Australia, he assisted with the survey of the site for the new federal capital, even suggesting the name Canberra (of ...

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