Center for Crisis Management Research (CCMR) and Behavior and Data Science Lab (BDS Lab) held a joint seminar, which unveiled the fall semester event at SPPM on August 14th 2019. Professor Louise K. Comfort, Concurrent Professor, Nanjing University & Professor, University of Pittsburgh shared her recent book The Dynamics of Risk: Changing Technologies and Collective Action in Seismic Events. Associate Professor LU XiaoLi, Associate Director of CCMR, Executive Director of BDS Lab hosted the seminar. Professor PENG Zongchao, Director of CCMR, Chair of the Trustee Board of BDS Lab served as a discussant. Students and experts from Tsinghua University and other organizations joined the event.
Introducing Professor Comfort
Professor Louise K. Comfort started with her decades study on seismic events. She framed seismic risk as a global policy problem that threatens 36 nations of the world directly, and many more through the cascading consequences from serious disruptions of social, technical, and economic functions that are vital to continuing national and international development. The study adopts a theoretical framework of Complex Adaptive Systems (CAS) in a comparative analysis of response systems following twelve earthquakes that occurred in nine countries over sixteen years, 1999 – 2015. The study investigates how advances in information technologies have enabled some communities to anticipate seismic risk and manage response and recovery operations more effectively, while other communities have missed opportunities and endured heavy losses. In the end of presentation, she further explores potential directions for collective learning and action to address seismic risk on a global scale.
Professor Comfort was presenting in the seminar
Professor PENG Zongchao commented on Louise’s research and shared his field research experience after the Lushan Earthquake. In the end of event, Associate professor LU Xiaoli summarized the seminar. He expressed the gratitude to Louise for sharing her recent research finding.
Professor PENG Zongchao was commenting on Louise’s presentation
Louise K. Comfort is Professor of Public and International Affairs and Former Director, Center for Disaster Management, University of Pittsburgh. She is a Fellow at the National Academy of Public Administration, and authors or co-authors of six books, including Designing Resilience: Preparing for Extreme Events, and Mega-Crises: Understanding the Prospects, Nature, Characteristics and the Effects of Cataclysmic Events. Her primary research interests include decision making under conditions of uncertainty and rapid change, and the uses of information technology to develop decision support systems for managers operating under urgent conditions. She has engaged in field studies following nineteen earthquake disasters in fourteen countries and regions, including the EERI reconnaissance study of the Padang Earthquake, Indonesia, an NSF RAPID response study of the Haiti Earthquake, and a recovery study of the Tohoku Earthquake, Japan.