• Failed/ineffective communication during
    crisis and non-crisis events can lead to higher numbers of injuries and deaths.

  • “Communications could have been better”
    —Maria Galvez, Emergency Management Coordinator
    City of Katy, TX, after 8 people perished in floods.

    (Houston Chronicle, May 3, 2016)

  • “Tuesday’s severe weather ‘bust’ is a communication wake-up call.”
    —Bill Bunting, Operations Chief, Storm Prediction Center
    (Washington Post, April 27, 2016)

  • “Flooded...trains were the result of a communication breakdown.”
    —Bob Nelson, TriMet Deputy General Manager
    (The Oregonian, November 11, 2015)

Welcome to the Public Affairs Science and Technology (PAST) Fusion Cell at Argonne National Laboratory, a first-of-its-kind that seeks to draw researchers, scientists, and forward-thinking public affairs professionals from across the globe.
Our mission… “Learn from the PAST and Prepare for the Future.” Our vision… “Bridge the gaps between public affairs practice, communications research, and social science” in an effort to improve all aspects of public affairs as it relates to emergency management.

Apply science to the practice of risk and crisis communications

In the fast-paced and ever-evolving arena of public affairs, traditional data collection and statistical analysis are not enough. To maximize the effectiveness and efficiency of critical messaging public information officers should employ a full suite of advanced social and computational science tools to make the best real-world public affairs decisions.

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