Statement of Task
The objective of the study is to provide the National Science Foundation and other stakeholders with a detailed appraisal of the short- and long-term challenges facing the social science disaster research community and new and emerging opportunities for advancing knowledge in the field and its application for the benefit of society. The study should provide a basis for planning future social science and multidisciplinary research related to natural, technological, and willful disasters in response to challenges and opportunities presented by a changing nation and world.
In order to put future projections into context, the study will initially examine the contributions and accomplishments of the social sciences in the field starting with the creation of the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program (NEHRP), the program that through NSF has provided much of the support for the social science effort to date. Attention will be given to the contributions of the social sciences to understanding the full range of natural, technological and human-induced disasters that social scientists have studied during the past 25 years since NEHRP was established.
Overall the study will examine the following areas:
emphases, depending on the types of hazards and disasters studied and research topics related to them. Given the above charge and tasks of the committee, further integration of hazards and disaster research, as depicted by the overlapping circles and two-directional arrows in Figure 1.1, is a fundamental future requirement for the social sciences. Such integration