I my “previous life” I was a geoscientist. I worked in the petroleum industry as an exploration geophysicist, after earning a BS degree in Geology. Later in my career I became quite involved in using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technology as decision support systems for assisting petroleum exploration professionals in making good decisions about possible new oil and gas reserves.
My dissertation study for my PhD was about whether people using GIS technologies as decision support tools make more effective decisions when the information they are considering has spatially referenced components (they do!).
I just discovered this article with a similar vein — how knowledge derived from (and therefore teaching about) GIS technology is beneficial to society, from business to education to sociology and beyond. I thought you might enjoy this link to the article (which really is a series of articles!):
GIS and Geographic Inquiry: