The Royal Geographical Society is the largest Geographical Society in Europe and one of the largest in the world with 15,000 members. The RGS was founded in 1830 and received its Royal Charter under Queen Victoria in 1859. It advances geography through supporting geographical research, education and outdoor learning, public engagement and policy.
The early history of the RGS enshrines such famous names as Livingstone, Stanley, Scott, Shackleton, Hunt and Hillary and it is associated with exploration, discovery and first expeditions to unchartered territories. The most recent past-President is Michael Palin.
Professor Ashworth chairs grant panels at the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), is Deputy Chair of the British Society for Geomorphology (BSG) and has served on the RGS Peter Fleming Awards Committee since 2010.
In 2013 he gave a public lecture on his research on large rivers of the world to 650 Fellows and members. His election to the RGS Council was by the Fellows of the Society.