Walter W. Piegorsch, Director of Statistical Research & Education at the University of Arizona’s BIO5 Institute and former Editor in Chief of Environmetrics was featured on a recent episode of the podcast Stats and Stories. The episode featuring Piegorsch, “The Probability of the Next Terrorist Attack”, is available to listen to now.
In the episode, Piegorsch discusses his February 2021 article in Significance written with Rachel R. McCaster and Susan L. Cutter.
In the article, “From terrorism to flooding: How vulnerable is your city?”, they explain how the tools of data science can help quantify the risks and vulnerabilities to hazards in the places where we live and work. While research on disasters can frequently focus on rural areas, Piegorsch, McCaster and Cutter examine the vulnerability of urban life. Piegorsch, McCaster and Cutter explain:
“When we hear the word ‘disaster’, we often think of events like hurricanes, heatwaves, pandemics, or terrorist attacks. Rarely do we stop to ask how vulnerable our location is to such hazards. Some of us might ponder the question, but the chances are good that any answer we come up with will be somewhat limited in usefulness. Humankind is notoriously poor at judging low‐probability, high‐consequence events such as pandemics and terrorist attacks, especially when they pertain to adverse, detrimental, ‘risky’ outcomes. “
Significance is a bi-monthly magazine for anyone interested in statistics and the analysis and interpretation of data. Its aim is to communicate and demonstrate in an entertaining, thought provoking and non-technical way the practical use of statistics in all walks of life, and to show informatively and authoritatively how statistics benefit society. It is published on behalf of the Royal Statistical Society and the American Statistical Association.