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Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction stresses importance of establishing a science foundation for action at Science and Technology for Society forum in Japan


October 5, 2015   by Canadian Underwriter


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Dr. Gordon McBean, the Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction’s (ICLR) director of policy, is stressing the importance of establishing a “science foundation for action” that addresses both energy and environmental issues.

Dr. Gordon McBean, the Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction’s director of policy, focused on the “importance of integrated research to bring together knowledge from the natural sciences with behavioural studies.”

Dr. McBean participated yesterday in the opening panel discussion at the Science and Technology for Society forum meeting in Kyoto, Japan on Sunday. ICLR’s executive director, Paul Kovacs, also spoke on Sunday at the session on adapting to climate change.

The forum is an annual conference for the discussion of emerging scientific research. Information from the forum’s website said that the forum “aims to provide a new mechanism for open discussions on an informal basis, and to build a human network that would, in time, resolve the new types of problems stemming from the application of science and technology.” The forum community also explores the opportunities arising from science and technology, and addresses how to remove the barriers to using science and technology to solve the problems facing humankind.

In attendance were the Prime Minister of Japan, the Deputy Prime Minister of Russia, the Prime Minister of France, the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka, ministers from more than a dozen countries, half a dozen Nobel prize winners, the chairman of Toyota and more than 1,000 others, said information from ICLR.

During the forum, Dr. McBean focused on the “importance of integrated research to bring together knowledge from the natural sciences with behavioural studies,” the ICLR said. Kovacs highlighted the growing consensus that action is needed to build resilience to loss and damage from severe weather. “Efforts to adapt building practices, modify choices about where new buildings are located, invest in resilience infrastructure and better educate the public need to have a strong base in science if they are to be effective,” ICLR added.

In June, ICLR was designated as an International Centre of Excellence by unanimous approval from the Integrated Research on Disaster Risk (IRDR)’s Scientific Committee. The institute’s International Centre of Excellence focuses on disaster resilient homes, buildings and public infrastructure and will consider issues related to the construction of disaster resilient new homes and public infrastructure, as well as actions to retrofit existing structures, ICLR said.

There are just seven other International Centres of Excellence worldwide.