Tuesday, 11 January 2005: 11:00 AM
Communicating Risk and Encouraging Self-Protective Action
This interactive panel focuses on: (1) communicating risks associated with living in coastal zones; and (2) strategies for encouraging the adoption of appropriate self-protective measures by residents of these areas. Moderator Kathleen Tierney, Professor of Sociology and Director of the Natural Hazards Research and Applications Information Center, will bring together a group of four experts in the social scientific aspects of hazards, disasters, and risk to discuss the following topics: strategies for communicating information regarding coastal zone hazards, with a special emphasis on dealing with uncertainty and translating and integrating scientific data (e.g., data from observing systems) into public education programs; the implications of demographic trends and societal diversity for vulnerability to future extreme events, as well as for risk communication strategies; social science research findings on the human behavioral impacts of forecasts and warnings for coastal hazards; and societal factors associated with the adoption of measures designed to reduce the impact of coastal zone hazards, including such measures as appropriate land use, modifications to the built environment, and household and business preparedness. Among the objectives of the session are to highlight ways in which social science knowledge on responses to weather and climate variation can help ensure that science knowledge and information products are employed in ways that reduce societal disruption from climate change and extreme weather events and to introduce forum attendees to state-of-the art research on human and societal responses to hazards.