Abstract

DisSci:gn Lab often talks with researchers, practitioners, and stakeholders who focus on disasters so we can better understand what they need. Ineffective disaster science communications is mentioned frequently to explain the gap between natural hazards and disaster research, practice, and community needs. Not surprisingly, professionals in our field see different purposes for disaster science communications, including data dissemination, information sharing, and knowledge transfer. Surprising to us is how often professionals we talk to frame communications as one direction: researchers to practitioners and stakeholders. However, many researchers say there is a gap when it comes to knowing what practitioners are doing and understanding stakeholder needs. Similarly, many practitioners and stakeholders we talk to express frustration that researchers don’t know what they know and need. It’s clear to us that disaster science communications should improve in both directions. Researchers and practitioners alike can design better communications about their data, information, and knowledge for their counterparts and stakeholders. Through our conversations, we consistently heard four general pain points that limit the effectiveness of disaster science communications. Flipping these pain points into design opportunities, disaster science communications need to be: inclusive, integrated, inspiring, and impactful.

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