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Disaster research erupts

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Disaster research erupts

An unprecedented interest in the human side of disasters has prompted a gathering of social scientists, policy makers and emergency management staff.

Fifty people will gather at Te Papa tomorrow for a workshop hosted by the University and GNS Science.

Director of the Centre for Disaster Research, Associate Professor David Johnston says we know a lot about the physical nature of disasters, but there is much to learn about how communities are affected by such events.

“With increased focus on sustainability and community resilience, we need to better understand the social science aspects of disasters.”

He says over the past ten years there’s been an eruption of interest from researchers in such topics as emergency management planning, community resilience and welfare issues, and the role of public education and warnings in disaster preparedness, response and recovery.

Dr Johnston says the workshop aims to coordinate research and improve links with the end users of research.

ENDS

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