As part of a joint program funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation I’ll be working with a trio of Stevens Institute of Technology faculty researchers who have been awarded $500,000 to broadly assess and redefine U.S. civil defense, studying how to communicate the latest science and technology to educate the public about the threat of nuclear terrorism — as well as what measures to take if a nuclear event occurs.
The Stevens project will both involve a few flagship projects as well as the solicitation, approval and seed funding of a host of smaller sub-projects aimed at dispensing good information accurately and memorably.
Major components of the project include:
- Virtual reality simulations developed in Stevens’ SCENE (Sensory Computation, Experimental Narrative Environments) Lab by professors Christopher Manzione, Seth Cluett and Nicholas O’Brien, three experts in audio, VR, graphics and game development.
- Detailed nuclear-winter simulators led by Pullen and Wellerstein, building upon Wellerstein’s popular NUKEMAP online casualty-visualization tool.
- Extensive surveys of Americans’ emotional responses to nuclear terrorism and examination of the behavioral changes that result from new nuclear risk communications, performed by Karl. That research will include analyses of newly developed communication tools and focus particularly on millennial-generation subjects, leveraging a pool of Stevens students.