Is there anything left to explore?


Explore South West launched with a lively public panel discussion on the topic “Is there anything left to explore in the 21st century?”.

“The glory-seeking adventurer of old is giving way to explorers who want to understand the planet rather than dominate it.” This is how The Economist heralded the New Age of Discovery.

Panel members explain why the need to explore has never been more urgent and relevant, and how, in their own work they are contributing to a greater understanding of our planet through their discoveries.

Chaired by Ritula Shah, BBC Radio 4 presenter, The World Tonight. Panel members include a social geographer, earth scientist, conservation biologist, and artist.

The discussion was followed by a performance by folk singer and naturalist Sam Lee.


Sam Lee

Folk Singer
Mercury Prize Nominee

Mercury prize nominee, folk singer, and social anthropologist, Sam is modern-day pilgrim presenting previously-forgotten folk songs from the recesses of Europe’s ancient communities.


Ritula Shah (chair)

Lead Presenter, The World Tonight
BBC Radio 4

Previously producer of Today and presenter of Woman’s Hour on BBC Radio 4, Ritula Shah became the lead presenter of The World Tonight in 2013.

Johanna Wadsley

The Open University

Winner of RGS-IBG Neville Shulman Challenge Award 2012 for her exploration by sea-kayak in the Sangihe archipelago in Indonesia, Johanna is Research Associate at the Open University.