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25 January 2024 - 25 January 2024

1:15PM - 2:15PM

W007, Geography Building & Zoom

  • Free, everyone is welcome.

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The Institute of Hazard, Risk and Resilience seminar series takes place from 13.15 - 14.15. This is a hybrid event. Online registration essential.

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Photo of Rupert Hough

Please register for the online zoom event here.

Many decision support tools are never used for their intended purpose. This is fine if development of these is simply an academic exercise, but such tools have little impact beyond the immediate research community. The utility of decision support tools is often limited by two main aspects. Firstly, as researchers there is a general tendency to want to make our models as accurate as possible. This can lead to building complex models with numerous parameters that although might be available to the research community are essentially unavailable to those who need help with their decisions. Rarely do we start with the premise of “what does the decision taker need in order to make this decision”. The way a particular system might be characterised by a researcher can be quite different from how a practitioner may go about describing it. Secondly, and more difficult to address, is the simple fact that decisions are not made based on (measured) evidence alone. We have all heard the term “following the science” in relation to policy decisions, but this term could be more accurately translated as “considering the science alongside a whole host of other things”. In this seminar, we will look at examples of how models can be built using the sorts of input available to the decision takers. We will also explore approaches that can capture the practitioners understanding of a particular system or problem, and methods to combine ‘hard science’ with ‘softer’ opinion and knowledge to support decision taking. Ultimately, this seminar urges us to begin by exploring the decision before we go about modelling it.


Free, everyone is welcome.