The Public Understanding of Science
This field is comprised of scholars who study the interaction between experts and publics in terms of knowledge creation, science and technology controversies, and different types of expertise. Within the weather enterprise, different groups interact within the context of warning and forecast systems which originate at the NWS and propagate through emergency management, broadcast media, and different communities. I'm interested in the problem definitions debated by these collaborative groups.
- How do experts and publics understand warnings differently?
- How do forecasters, emergency managers, and other public safety officials communicate with various publics?
- What kind of forecast technologies, practices, and policies are the most helpful to communities?
I've participated as a facilitator and guest speaker at several Integrated Warning Teams (IWTs), which bring together NWS forecasters, their partners in emergency management, and members of the broadcast meteorology community. One example is in North Carolina's Triangle area and the agenda can be found here. While these groups are not representative of all participants in the weather warning process, it is the place where knowledge sharing about risk and policy happens.
Publications related to this work are forthcoming this year:
J. Henderson, forthcoming. Weather Ready Nation or Ready Weather Agency? Developing an Ethic of Resilience in the National Weather Service. In Bouncing Back: Sociotechnical Resilience in Disasters. Ed., Sulfikar Amir. London: Palgrave McMillian.