UCL Mathematical & Physical Sciences


Launch of the UCL Warning Research Centre

16 October 2020

The UCL Warning Research Centre (WRC) is the first centre to open within the Department of Science and Technology Studies

Image of Fire Warning system in New Zealand

The WRC is an interdepartmental centre focusing on all aspects in relation to warnings for all forms of risks and disasters, and draws on the excellent science communication and policy foundations of STS. Founded by Dr Carina Fearnley, the WRC brings together expertise already established at UCL with warning expertise at universities globally to work with businesses, government, non-governmental, and intergovernmental organisations to address the growing need for effective warning and alert systems via cutting-edge research, policy guidance, applications, and collaborative expertise. WRC will transform research into warnings and alert solutions by being strongly interdisciplinary and innovative.

Why the WRC?

Warnings save countless lives every year, can be used to support day-to-day living and vulnerability reduction, and are often operated by government organisations with legal remits. However, no dedicated Warning Research Centre currently exists to pool research and experience to develop better knowledge and practices, and to share lessons across risks and disasters. The UCL WRC contributes to filling this gap by bringing together expertise from across a range of disciplines, geographies, and social and livelihood contexts to help establish more effective warnings which are more connected to and used by people.

Key objectives:

  • Establish a global centre of excellence around warnings
  • Provide a community for researchers and practitioners to share ideas and develop innovative solutions to complex and real problems
  • Provide research expertise, teaching excellence, policy advice, and public engagement in relation to warnings
  • Help place warnings on the agenda as a strategies and tools in disaster risk reduction including climate change adaptation as well as sustainable development.

You can find out more about the Warning Research Centre on the STS website at the link below.