Palmén Colloquium

The purpose of the Geographical Society of Finland is to bring all those interested in geographical questions together, share ideas and have a feeling of a geographical community. The Geography Days, hosted by the University of Eastern Finland this year, is a great occasion that brings the national geographical community together.

The Palmén Colloquium of the Geographical Society of Finland affords occasions to present and discuss fresh and contemporary research for a broad geographical crowd. Open to all, the colloquium intends to both promote geographic research and proliferate interaction within Geography. The hybrid-form colloquium is hosted by the Geographical Society of Finland and the University of Helsinki. The colloquium can also be organized in other universities.

The name for the colloquium comes from J.A. Palmén, who helped to establish the Geographical Society of Finland in 1888. For Palmén, geography was the science that summoned different disciplines together and for whom space was a bundle of interactions of different processes. Palmén was a leading ornithologist and a biologist curious of all things living, always looking to the horizon, and pushing geographers to make connections. In addition, Johan Axel, was the subject of the Society’s first medal.

Historically the Society held meetings on Friday afternoons. Following this tradition, the colloquium will be held mainly on Friday lunchtime at 1pm. In Spring 2024 the colloquium will be held in 22 MARCH and 31 MAY. The society will open the call for Autumn 2024 presentations after MAY 1. 

We invite all geographers and people interested in geography to take part in this hybrid colloquium either online, or when the occasion comes live. 


Location for live meeting and online will be published closer to events with abstracts here.


Schedule Spring 2024



Destination 90°N: Dimensions and geographies of tourism at the North Pole

Tourism in the Arctic has existed for over 200 years. It is now a mature industry in the region, operating all year round and in all regions of the Arctic, including the North Pole. The North Pole, however, does not constitute a distinct region; it is rather a minuscule point located within a vast and endless white landscape. Therefore, investigating tourism at the North Pole is essentially an inquiry into the logistics of reaching this remote place, and of tourism operations taking place in the central Arctic Ocean. In addition, while the North Pole is located in the middle of an ocean, 700 kilometers from the nearest land, the presence of sea ice facilitates the development and diversification of various tourism operations and products, extending beyond (icebreaker) cruise tourism.

This paper explores the dimensions and geographies of tourism development at the North Pole in terms of modes of tourism, itineraries, and estimated numbers of tourists. It also aims to discuss the future of tourism in the region in light of estimated climate change impacts on the sea ice in order to better plan and adapt to a future seasonally ice-free Arctic Ocean.

By: Alix Varnajot, History, Culture and Communications Research Unit, University of Oulu



Long-lived and healthy migrants? A register study on all-cause and cause-specific mortality in Finland, 2002-2020

It is well-known that emigrants are not a random sample of the population in their country of origin. Instead, selection into migration is selective. There is also a health dimension to this, because migrants are often healthier than the population of destination country. This is known as "healthy migrant effect", and it translates eventually to migrants' mortality advantage. However, empirical evidence is far from conclusive. Our study elucidates this topic by examining all-cause and cause-specific mortality among older migrant and non-migrant adults aged 70 and above using Finnish Cause of Death register data (2002–2020). Comparing migrants from diverse geographical regions with the majority population in Finland, we uncover an all-cause mortality advantage among older migrants, challenging assumptions of a diminishing healthy migrant effect with age. This advantage persists across various causes of death, with variations observed among regions of origin groups and between sexes. 

By Dr. Teemu Kemppainen, Department of Geosciences and Geography, University of Helsinki