Danny Dorling

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Daniel Dorling

Danny Dorling at Bookmarks bookshop, Bloomsbury in 2014.jpg
Dorling at Bookmarks bookshop, Bloomsbury in 2014
Born (1968-01-16) 16 January 1968 (age 52)
Oxford, England
Alma materUniversity of Newcastle (BSc Hons., PhD)
Scientific career
InstitutionsUniversity of Oxford
University of London
University of Sheffield
University of Bristol
University of Leeds
University of Newcastle

Danny Dorling (born 16 January 1968) is an English social geographer and is the Halford Mackinder Professor of Geography of the School of Geography and the Environment of the University of Oxford.[1][2]

He is also a visiting professor in the Department of Sociology of Goldsmiths, University of London, a visiting professor in the School of Social and Community Medicine of the University of Bristol, a visiting fellow at the Institute for Public Policy Research, and a member of the National Advisory Panel for the Centre for Labour and Social Studies (CLASS).[3] He is a patron of RoadPeace since 2011[4] and from 2007 to 2017 was the honorary president of the Society of Cartographers.[5]

In 1989 he became a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society (FRGS), and a fellow of the Royal Statistical Society (FRSS), in 2003 a fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences (FAcSS), in 2010 a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA), in 2014 was appointed an honorary fellow of the Faculty of Public Health (HonFFPH), and in 2015 he became a senior associate member of the Royal Society of Medicine (SARSM). In 2019 he was made an (honorary) Doctor of the University of York.[6]

Early life and education[edit]

Born in Oxford, Dorling attended the local state schools, including Cheney School, a coeducational comprehensive and was employed as a play-worker in children's summer play-schemes.[7] Dorling graduated with a Bachelor of Science with Honours in Geography, Mathematics and Statistics at the University of Newcastle in 1989 and completed a PhD in the Visualization of Spatial Social Structure under the supervision of Stan Openshaw in 1991. His favourite pastime continues to be building sandcastles on beaches.[8]

Academic career[edit]

From 1991 to 1993, Dorling was a Joseph Rowntree Foundation Fellow and from 1993 to 1996 he was British Academy Fellow at the University of Newcastle. From 1996 to 2000, he was on the faculty of the School of Geographical Sciences at the University of Bristol. From 2000 to 2003 he was Professor of Quantitative Human Geography at the University of Leeds. From 2003 to 2013 he was Professor of Human Geography and also in 2013 he was Professor for the Public Understanding of Social Science at the University of Sheffield.

Dorling in 2011

In September 2013 he became the Halford Mackinder Professor of Geography, attached to St Peter's College, Oxford.[9] In his inaugural lecture he spoke about the increasing disparity between Britain's richest 1% and the rest. He said: "Income inequality has now reached a new maximum and, for the first time in a century, even those just below the richest 1% are beginning to suffer, to see their disposable income drop."[10]

He has mapped (mainly using cartograms), analysed and commented upon UK demographic statistics. In 2005 he co-founded the Internet-based Worldmapper project, which now has about 700 world maps and spreadsheets of international statistics. He has been on radio, television and in newspaper articles.[6][11]


Dorling has been very supportive of Jeremy Corbyn from 2016 through to his scheduled retirement as Labour Party leader in February 2020. In May 2016, Dorling said: "Jeremy Corbyn can take on the zealots and bigots who use migration to stir up fear and hatred. His popular appeal is not based on stoking up current prejudices. It is based on conviction, love and compassion. Just how cynical do you have to be not to see the hope and possibility in that?"[12] In May 2017 he appeared in a Labour Party political broadcast — "Labour Stands With You" — filmed by Ken Loach and published a week before the June 2017 General Election.


In February 2006, Dorling's work in human geography was described as "rummaging around" in numbers, crunching his way through reams of raw data, building up an extraordinary picture of poverty and wealth in contemporary Britain.[13]

In April 2010, an editorial in The Guardian was entitled "In Praise of Danny Dorling".[14]






  1. ^ "New Halford Mackinder Professor of Human Geography - News - School of Geography and the Environment - University of Oxford". www.geog.ox.ac.uk.
  2. ^ White, Chris. "Professor Danny Dorling - Staff - School of Geography and the Environment - University of Oxford". www.geog.ox.ac.uk.
  3. ^ "About - CLASS". classonline.org.uk.
  4. ^ "Patrons & Advisers".
  5. ^ "The Society Award". 21 July 2015.
  6. ^ a b "Tate Modern director and Hollywood film editor among University honours". University of York. 14 January 2019.
  7. ^ "Bio". 1 March 2014.
  8. ^ "Biography published in Times Higher Education" (PDF).
  9. ^ "St Peter's College website".
  10. ^ Dorling, Danny (4 February 2014). "Is the British education system designed to polarise people?" – via www.theguardian.com.
  11. ^ "Videos". 1 October 2014.
  12. ^ Dorling, Danny (28 May 2016). "The long read: Why Corbyn's moral clarity could propel him to Number 10". Labour List. Retrieved 27 April 2019.
  13. ^ The Guardian 8 February 2006 Interview: Danny Dorling
  14. ^ The Guardian 30 April 2010 In Praise of Danny Dorling
  15. ^ "Papers - Geovisualization, Inequality and Space - Transformations: Economy, Society and Place - Research - School of Geography and the Environment - University of Oxford". www.geog.ox.ac.uk.
  16. ^ A Better Politics Free (low resolution) version

External links[edit]