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Friday, October 12, 2018 at 4:00pm to 5:00pm
Many people come to hazards science research because they want the results of their work used to improve the human condition. However, as the climate change debates have shown us, the gulf between a research result and a public policy can seem impossibly large. This talks looks at the impediments to the translation of science into action and approaches that scientists can take to span the gulf. My work with policy makers suggest two important principles. First, we need to be sure what science is ready for public use. If it is still “cutting-edge”, it is probably not yet a consensus. Second, we need to remember that we, as scientists, were not elected to make public policy decisions. Our job is to make sure that those who were elected to make these decisions understand the implications of their decisions without making the decisions for them.
Dr. Lucy Jones is the founder of the Dr. Lucy Jones Center for Science and Society, with a mission to foster the understanding and application of scientific information in the creation of more resilient communities. She is the author of the book, The Big Ones (Doubleday, April 2018) and is also a Research Associate at the Seismological Laboratory of Caltech, a post she has held since 1984. Working with both the public and private sectors, Dr. Jones seeks to increase communities’ ability to adapt and be resilient to the dynamic changes of the world around them. The aim is to understand and communicate where the greatest vulnerabilities lie and what actions can be taken to reduce the risk that are the most cost-effective. With a Bachelor of Arts in Chinese Language and Literature from Brown University and a Ph.D. in Geophysics from MIT, Dr. Jones has been active in earthquake research for decades, furthering earthquake risk reduction through seismological research and integrated disaster scenarios.