Helene Joffe, this year’s Lloyd’s Science of Risk winner

This year’s Lloyd’s Science of Risk winner revealed some fascinating “fatalistic” attitudes to earthquake risk.

The prestigious Science of Risk prize received some excellent submissions from a line-up of esteemed academics in 2013. Amongst them was a lead convening author for the fifth IPCC impact report, Professor Neil Adger, a runner-up for this year’s prize.

The competition, now in its fourth year, is designed to encourage links between the academic community and the insurance industry. Submissions fell into three categories: behavioural risk; geopolitical and societal risk; and technological and biological risk.

In her winning paper, Social Representations of Earthquakes: A Study of People Living in Three Highly Seismic Areas, Helene Joffe demonstrated that action to reduce earthquake risk is undermined by the feelings of anxiety and fatalism.

She compared attitudes to earthquake risk in three highly seismic cities – Seattle (US), Izmir (Turkey) and Osaka (Japan) – shedding light on what drives better preparatory action.

“I was delighted to receive the Lloyd’s Science of Risk prize,” said Joffe. “This acknowledges the value of cross-cultural and interdisciplinary research.”

“It also highlights the worth of focusing not just on how people think about the risks they face but how they feel about them,” she continued. “Emotive and cultural factors play a key role in shaping risk-related behaviours, such as the purchase of earthquake insurance.”

Read the full article on the Lloyds website or download the attached pdf file:



Helene Joffe, this year’s Lloyd’s Science of Risk winner
Helene Joffee
Helene Joffee