We have a problem with science and risk communication


This article highlights the many aspects of our communication problem with using science to warn people about dangerous situations.The public doesn’t understand the “Cone of Uncertainty” hurricane.

This article addresses the challenge of providing people with a graphical representation of a hurricane’s path. What better way than to give them pictures! Then the process “rocks” on us. It’s also interesting how the tornado spins and how people “unwrap” the cone of concern.

The above is about a certain impending danger. How have we as a nation responded to the COVID-19 pandemic, alerting people to threats and how to protect ourselves?


If we were doing a good job at this today, we would be covering more of the population with the latest vaccines. The proof is pudding or serum!

New topic, if people realize they may be running out of water by 2023, maybe they’ll still move to the arid Southwest! Lake Mead is in serious trouble and may not be able to generate electricity next year due to low water levels.

We have a huge, huge communication problem with people, with science, with disasters, with people focusing on their own personal well-being.

Eric Holdeman is a contributing writer for Emergency Management and the former Director of Emergency Management for King County, Washington.





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