UCL Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction


Outreach Section

UCL IRDR Outreach and public engagement activities

A key aim of the IRDR is to engage in public debate on issues in risk and disaster reduction, creating a space for academic discourse in the public policy and political arenas, and raising the profile of UCL. To achieve this we organise discussion meetings, lectures and symposia open to the UCL community and the general public and participate in external public engagement events and outreach activities.

2016-17 Outreach and public engagement activities

Despite decades of gender work, around 50% of the world's population remain marginalized to varying degrees, and viewed through a gender-responsive lens, resilience remains a highly contested notion. The IRDR's strategy includes launching a new Centre for Gender Responsive Resilience at UCL. In building this initiative, Maureen Fordham, IRDR research professor and founder of the Gender and Disaster Network, delivered a special seminar at our first public event of 2016-17. 

Continuing our close involvement with the Fukushima Prefecture in Japan following the 2011 Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami, the IRDR co-hosted the UCL-Japan Youth Challenge with 35 school students and representatives from Fukushima. Around 200 people attended a public symposium on Facing Disasters: International Disaster Management and Humanitarian Responses, addressed by IRDR researchers, and a reception.

Building on our growing research focus in the developing world and our emerging consultancy activity in this area, we ran a public panel discussion on Risk Finance for the Developing World in partnership with DAI, a development consultancy organisation.

IRDR Reader, Ilan Kelman joined the Pint of Science festival to talk about disaster basics in a local pub!

Media Engagement 

The IRDR maintains a high-profile media strategy, providing both immediate comment during disasters, and features for documentaries and magazines.

Disater Damage

Following the Accumoli (Amatrice) Earthquake in August 2016, Joanna Faure Walker and Carmine Galasso were much in demand by TV channels (including BBC News Channel, Channel 5, BBC World service) and print media (the Guardian, and TIME magazine).

The IRDR also produced our own website news article to provide information to the public. Robert Wicks described NASA's next solar mission and how it will help understanding of space weather on BBC World.