, Volume 28, Issue 1, pp 1-10
Date: 08 Nov 2008

Disaster Research and Social Network Analysis: Examples of the Scientific Understanding of Human Dynamics at the National Science Foundation

This is an excerpt from the content

How can knowledge about human behavior be accumulated effectively? How does the funding agency best assure that scientific research is effectively organized? This paper was stimulated by a meeting of nine researchers who received small grants from NSF to conduct empirical analysis of individuals affected by the hurricane disasters (Katrina and Rita) of 2005. Two of the authors are NSF program directors (one is a former director) who will discuss the philosophy and intentions of funding programs on social dynamics of disasters following the 2005 hurricanes. We discuss how NSF funding supported studies of these disasters and what was expected from the funded projects. And we will summarize the type of projects, the kinds of new scientific knowledge that has been gained, and describe what problems remain to be addressed.

One significant theme found in the selected social science research projects following the hurricane disasters is how social networks affected individual choices. Thus, th

This paper was written by researchers who were program directors of the National Science Foundation during 2006. Larry Suter is currently a program director in the Division of Research, Evaluation and Communication, of the Education and Human Resources Directorate. Thomas Birkland was a program director for the Infrastucture Management and Hazards Response Program in the Division for Civil, Mechanical, and Manufacturing Innovation in the Engineering Directorate, and is now the Director of the Center for Policy Research at the University at Albany, State University of New York. Raima Larter is a Program Director in the Theoretical and Computational Chemistry Program of NSF.
Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.