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Manfred M. Fischer

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Manfred M. Fischer

Researcher of the Month

A Life dedicated to research

His academic books, book chapters, journal articles, papers and other publications fill entire bookshelves: WU Professor Manfred M. Fischer is one of the world’s foremost experts on economic geography and regional studies. His work illustrates clearly that including a spatial dimension in the observation of economic processes and phenomena makes economic models significantly more realistic and increases their explanatory power. Last week, at the 56th Congress of the European Regional Science Association (ERSA), the world’s largest regional sciences congress, Professor Fischer was awarded the RSAI Founder's Medal. The Founder’s Medal is the highest academic honor bestowed by the Regional Science Association International (RSAI) and has been awarded every four years since 1978, making this the 9th award of its kind. Fischer is the only scientist worldwide to have been presented with three of RSAI’s most prestigious awards (Fellows Award, Jean Paelinck Award, Founder’s Medal).

Manfred M. Fischer (born in 1947) became a professor at Vienna University of Economics and Business in 1988, and has been a           professor emeritus since 2015. He is considered to be a pioneer in his field and a co-founder of quantitative and theoretical geography in Europe. One of his main research objectives was always to strengthen the links between theoretical economic geography and traditional economics, to help make economic models more realistic and increase their explanatory power. In 2016, the WU professor was selected to receive the 9th Founder’s Medal of the Regional Science Association International. The award was presented to him during the opening ceremony of the ERSA Congress (, the world’s largest conference in this field. The Founder’s Medal, awarded every four years in honor of Walter Isard, the founder of the Regional Science Association, is the highest honor bestowed by the RSAI and was established to recognize lifetime contributions to the field of regional science.

International Career

Manfred M. Fischer studied mathematics and geography at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg. Even in the early 1970s his goal was to promote the use of mathematical models, in geography in general and in economic geography in particular. Fischer’s career was international from the very start: His research and teaching activities took him to the Oskar Lange Academy of Economics in Breslau (Poland), the University of California in Santa Barbara (USA), the Keldysh Institute for Theoretical Physics (Russia), and later to Asia, to the Chinese University of Hong Kong and the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing. His academic and professional network is correspondingly global: Fischer has cooperated on a regular basis with international regional science greats like Luc Anselin, Arthur Getis, Geoffrey Hewings, James LeSage, Peter Nijkamp, Folke Snickars, Aura Reggiani, and many more.

Highest academic standards

Fischer, a member of several scholarly associations including the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences and the International Academy of Sciences for Europe and Asia, could almost fill a library with his numerous scientific publications: his publication list includes 40 books (including two in Chinese), approximately 120 original papers in academic journals, and 130 contributions to edited anthologies and compendiums.  He co-founded the Springer book series, Advances in Spatial Science, and the interdisciplinary journal Geographical Systems, and is now editor-in-chief of its successor, the Journal of Geographical Systems (Springer)[KK1] . The WU professor has been cited over 7,300 times, is listed in Google Scholar with an h-index=43, and has 60 publications in Elsevier’s Scopus, the largest abstract and citation database of peer-reviewed literature. These papers have been cited a total of 1,177 times by other Scopus-listed publications. Since the 1990s, Manfred M. Fischer has been consistently included in all rankings of the world’s most productive and most frequently cited researchers in regional studies and economic geography.  [KK1]die deutsche Version ist hier nicht ganz akkurat

Manfred M. Fischer awarded RSAI Founder’s Medal for his life’s work