GeoLog

GeoLog

Viewpoints from EGU GA 2011: Communicating Natural Hazard Risks

This year on the EGU General Assembly blog there will be guest posts from participants about their research and their impressions of sessions. These are personal points of view not EGU corporate views. If you would like to contribute a research viewpoint, please email us.

This viewpoint is from Catherine O’Riordan, Vice President of Physics Resources Center, American Institute of Physics, reflects on the use of news media programs (TV and Internet) to communicate Natural Hazard risk to the public. This work is presented as “Communicating Natural Hazard Risks to the Public through TV and Internet News Programs” in session NH9.3/EOS10 Natural Hazards Education, Communications and Science-Policy-Practice Interface on Monday TB4 (oral summaries of posters and discussion) and TB5 (poster authors in attendance).

Communicating Natural Hazard Risks to the Public through TV and Internet News Programs

By Catherine O’Riordan, Vice President of Physics Resources Center, American Institute of Physics, coriordan@aip.org

The scientific community has a real opportunity to reach the general public with messages about natural hazard risks by using media outlets. According to the U.S. National Science Foundation’s Science (NSF) and Engineering Indicators for 2010, the general public in the USA relies on local television news more than any other medium for their science and technology news and information — with the internet coming in as a fast-rising second. In response to the need to communicate accurate information about natural hazards and other scientific topics as well as the opportunity to reach a broad sector of the general public, the American Institute of Physics (AIP) has created two news products. The first one targets television audiences and is called Discoveries and Breakthroughs Inside Science (DBIS) . DBIS is a syndicated science news service that provides accurate and reliable scientific information in the form of twelve 90-second news segments distributed to local television stations throughout the USA and internationally each month. The newly launched second product targets internet audiences and is called Inside Science News Service (ISNS) . ISNS provides fully reported articles, graphics, and videos to provide major web news outlets and newspapers with accurate scientific reporting about natural hazards and other topics. NSF-sponsored research on DBIS revealed that there is a statistically significant difference in television viewers support for science in cities where DBIS segments are broadcasted compared to cities where they are not. 78% of focus group members reported that they liked watching news programs that featured science segments compared to a broadcast without them. AIP plans to continue to study ways to communicate natural hazards and other topics to the general public.

Photo Competition at EGU General Assembly 2011

For the second year there will be a Photo Competition at the European Geosciences Union General Assembly 2011. The finalists are below. To vote in the competition visit The Crystal Lounge, on the Green Level, First Floor of the ACV. In The Crystal Lounge you can view posters of the images and vote at the electronic voting terminals. The winner will be announced in the Crystal Lounge on Friday lunchtime.

Water Angel:A “water angel” seems to appear in the upper part of the Trift Glacier Lake in the Swiss Alps.

A tropical palm tree hit by heavy storm.

A tropical palm tree hit by heavy storm.

The Tempest: Measuring the aurora. This picture was taken while doing an optical/radar coordinated campaign in Svalbard, Norway, near the settlement of Longyearbyen.

Soil Forest: The geological landscape located in Yunnan Province, China is called either the ‘Earth Forest’ or ‘Soil Forest’ and formed by geological movement and soil erosion one or two million years ago. 

Oasis Valley

Oasis Valley

Strong eruption of Karymsky volcano at July 13, 2004, Kamchatka

Geysir (from which the English word, geyser, is derived) in the Haukadalur valley, Iceland. The photograph was taken just before the geyser ‘blew’; you can see the air bubbles rushing towards the surface within the mounting dome of water.

Flow: Folded Cretaceous Calcarenite layers.

Carboniferous arachnid Eophrynus prestvicii: A 3D reconstruction of the 312 million year old arachnid Eophrynus prestvicii, from a CT scan of the fossil. Arachnids such as this – members of the Trigonotarbida – were amongst the first terrestrial predators.

Research Viewpoints from EGU GA 2011

This year on the EGU General Assembly blog there will be guest posts from participants about their research and their impressions of sessions. These are personal points of view not EGU corporate views. If you would like to contribute a research viewpoint, please email us.

EGU Today Blog

The daily newsletter of the EGU General Assembly, EGU Today, has an accompanying blog: EGU Today Blog. The daily columns will be published here with a chance to comment on them. The daily columns in the EGU GA 2011 EGU Today will focus on the question of the role of science in society.

An electronic version of EGU Today is available from the EGUToday website.