Santa Fe Institute

Video: How social media might help you survive the next big disaster

March 25, 2013 10:27 a.m.

Historically, when a wildfire, earthquake or hurricane strikes, people seek information from authorities. Today, however, with every disaster event, we learn of new and accelerated ways in which people not only seek information beyond official sources, but also how they produce and share it with neighbors, friends, and strangers -- resulting in a kind of collective intelligence.

SFI's 2013 Community Lecture series debuted Thursday evening, March 14, with UC-Boulder researcher Leysia Palen describing how victims, observers, even “citizen-responders” are using social computing technology like Twitter, Open Street Maps, and other platforms to innovate new ways to participate in disaster response. Through examples from events over the past few years, Palen then discussed what her research suggests might be the implications for emergency response and society at large.

Watch Palen's lecture (81 minutes)

Palen is an associate professor of computer science and director of Project EPIC (Empowering the Public with Information during Crisis) at the University of Colorado Boulder.

Hear Palen's interview on the Santa Fe Radio Cafe (March 13, 2013)

Read the article in the Santa Fe New Mexican (March 12, 2013)

Read the article in the Albuquerque Journal (March 14, 2013)

The 2013 SFI Community Lecture series is made possible by Los Alamos National Bank. SFI Community Lectures are free and open to the public, but seating is limited.

SFI’s Community Lectures offer a window into the Institute’s research to understand the common patterns in physical, computational, biological, and social complex systems that underlie the most profound issues facing science and society today.

Next lecture: 

Thursday, May 9, 7:30 p.m., James A. Little Theater, “The Minds of Children,” Alison Gopnik, professor of psychology and affiliate professor of philosophy, UC Berkeley, and author.

See the schedule of upcoming SFI community events here.

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