Kristel Fourie has worked as a researcher at the African Centre for Disaster Studies at the North-West University for the past 10 years.
Dr Fourie discussed challenges in communicating risk, such as the multidisciplinary nature of (disaster) risk, making (disaster) risk newsworthy for mass media, and having to compete with different belief systems and perceptions of risk. Academics are constrained by time and publication pressures, and lack of skills. In most instances strategies to communicate risk do not take local voices or local existing knowledge of risk into account in the entire research process. But to lead to action, it is crucial to understand risk from the perspective of those who face it.
This talk was given at 2018’s Cambridge Conference on Catastrophic Risk (CCCR2018), the Centre for the Study of Existential Risk’s major international conference, supported by the Templeton World Charity Foundation. It focused on four challenges faced by research communities focused on existential and global catastrophic risk research: Challenges of Evaluation and Impact; Challenges of Evidence; Challenges of Scope and Focus; and Challenges in Communication.