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Flights of Fancy and The Art of the Possible: The Implications of Possibilistic Thinking in a Scenario Analysis and Disaster Recovery Context, New York Federal Reserve Bank, November 2009.

Brecht Forum, Emergent Communities & Elite Panic, New York, November 2009.

Foreseeing Catastrophe and Controlling Risks: Lessons From Disaster Studies, Keynote at OpRisk conference on managing and mitigating operational risk, New York, March 2009.

Agencies of Catastrophe: How Scientists Warned, or Did Not Warn, About Katrina, Risk and Planet Earth: Vulnerability, Natural Hazards, Integrated Adaptation Strategies, Keynote, University of Leipzig, March 2009.

Agencies of Catastrophe: Researching Katrina and its Environments, Southern Sociological Society, New Orleans, March 2009

Disaster and Sustainability: The Cultural Perspective, University of Copenhagen, November 2008

Kansas All-Hazards Behavioral Health Symposium, Plenary, October 2008

Confronting Vulnerability in the Delaware Valley, Drexel University, October 2008

Amazing success stories, and the failure of sociology to account for them: disaster anecdotes from the field, Southern Sociological Society, Richmond, VA, April 2008.

Worst Case Thinking About Environmental Disaster, Consortium for Inter-Disciplinary Environmental Research, Stony Brook University, March 2007.

Social Science & Disaster, Disasters: Recipes & Remedies, New School for Social Research, New York City, November 2007.

Worst Cases: Terror and Catastrophe in the Popular Imagination, Epstein, Becker, and Green, Newark, NJ, October 2007.

Elite Panic: More to Fear Than Fear Itself, American Sociological Association, New York, August 2007.

Worst Cases: Terror and Catastrophe in the Popular Imagination, Anschutz Lecture, Princeton University, March 2007.

Worst Cases and Terrorism: Problems in Social Organization, Crisis Management Research and Training, National Defense College, Stockholm, Sweden, March 2007.

Response to Terrorism: Enhancing Organizational and Policy Reliability, Folke Bernadotte Academy, Sweden, March 2007.

Worst Case Thinking in a Dangerous Age, Mardi Gras Keynote, University of South Alabama, Mobile, Alabama, February 2007.

Worst Cases: Types of Rationality in Thinking about Disaster, Program in Science, Technology, and Society, Stanford University, January 2007.

Worst Cases, Retired Faculty Association of Rutgers University, Rutgers University, September 2006.

Worst Cases, Keynote, Risk and Insurance Management Society, Calgary, September 2006.

Worst Case Katrina, Keynote, Center for Risk and Economic Analysis of Terrorism Events, University of Southern Califoria, August 2006.

Fantasy Documents and Worst Cases: Imagining and Thinking in Dangerous Times, Keynote, School of Public Health, Ohio State University, July 2006.

The Art of the Possible, Risk Forum, Organizational Risk in Today's World, London School of Economics, June 2006.

Worst Cases, New York Disaster Interfaith Services, Third Annual Clergy Summit, New York, NY, June 2006.

Worst Cases and Disaster Mis-Management, Keynote, Safety in Action conference, Melbourne, Australia, May 2006.

Worst Cases and Globalization, McGrann Research Conference, Department of Geography, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ April 2006.

Worst Cases: Lessons from Katrina and Other Future Catastrophes, Keynote, Princeton Theological Seminary, Princeton, March 2006.

Worst Cases: Terror and Catastrophe in the Popular Imagination, Keynote, Université de Technologie de Compiègne, Paris, March 2006.

Scientists As Forecasters of Catastrophic Environmental Events, Southern Sociological Society meetings, New Orleans, March 2006, with Shirley Laska & Steve Kroll-Smith.

Invited Thematic Panel—Hurricane Katrina and Issues of Space, Eastern Sociological Society, Boston, February 2006.

Worst Case Thinking in a Dangerous Age, Institute for Global Leadership, Keynote, Politics of Fear forum, Tufts University, Boston, February 2006.

Worst Cases and Disaster Preparedness, Thomas J. Anton/Frederick Lippitt Conference, Keynote, Taubman Center for Public Policy, Brown University, February 2006.

Katrina Forum, New York University and Social Science Research Council, November 2005.

Understanding Katrina, School of International and Public Affairs and Earth Institute, Columbia University, November 2005.

Worst Cases: Terror and Catastrophe in the Popular Imagination, Rutgers Life-Long Learning Program, Highland Park, NJ, November 2005.

Worst Cases: Terror and Catastrophe in the Popular Imagination, College of New Jersey, October 2005.

Distinguished Member and Keynote Speaker, National Society of Collegiate Scholars, Rutgers University, October 2005.

Structured Destruction: Social Stratification of Suffering in Disaster, American Sociological Association, Philadelphia, August 2005. ASA press release

Why Worry About Worst Cases?, Rural Sociological Society, Tampa, August 2005.

The Governor's New Jersey School Security Summit on "Empowering School Communities through Knowledge, Partnerships and Service," May 2005.

Worst Cases: Terror and Catastrophe in the Popular Imagination, SUNY-Brockport, April 2005.

Worst Cases: Terror and Catastrophe in the Popular Imagination, New Jersey Institute of Technology, February 2005.

Chance and Worst Cases: Living and Dying in an Age of Probabilism, Center for the Critical Analysis of Contemporary Culture, Rutgers University, November 2004.

Worst Case Thinking and Near Earth Objects: Problems and Prospects in Theory and Policy, International Council for Science, Workshop on Comet/Asteroid Impacts and Human Society Tenerife, November 2004. Invited keynote. I had to decline this at the last minute.

Worst Cases: Inquiries Into Terror, Calamity, and Imagination. Plenary speaker, Mid-South Sociological Association, Biloxi, October 2004.

Fantasy Documents and Worst Cases, University of California, Santa Barbara, October 2004.

Terrorism and the National Public Health Response, Health Care Excel, Indianapolis, September 2004.

Worst Cases: An Inquiry Into Disaster, Terror, and Imagination, University of Colorado, Boulder, July 2004.

The Costs of Terror: Mental and Physical Health, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Washington, DC, June 2004. Held at the National Press Club. Conference website.

Keynote on disaster and local preparation, Interstate Labor Standards Association, hosted by the NJ Department of Labor, Atlantic City, June 2004.

Invited lecture on disaster preparedness and response, Church World Service Forum on Domestic Disaster Ministry at Princeton Theological Seminary, March 2004.

Worst cases and fantasy documents, American Association for the Advancement of Science, Seattle, February, 2004,

The Human Question in Planetary Defense, Planetary Defense Conference, February 2004, sponsored by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

Defining and Enhancing Safety Culture in Healthcare, Jacksonville, January 2004.

Best case assumptions, worst case possibilities: fantasy planning in the Department of Energy's long term stewardship program, Society for Risk Analysis, Baltimore, December 2003.

"The Human Dimension of Disasters: Applying Social Science Research to Preparation," organized by the American Sociological Association, briefing for US Congress, October 2003.

Biosecurity Conference, Harvard Medical International, Harvard School of Public Health, Harvard Medical School, October 2003.

American Sociological Association, 1. Special session on "Worst Cases," 2. Public policy and disasters, 3. Culture and economics, August 2003.


Leadership and bioterrorism: Rutgers' Center for Discrete Mathematics and Theoretical Computer Science.

Last February I spoke at a special invitational conference in Washington, DC. The title was "Leadership during Bioterrorism: The Public as an Asset, not a Problem". The Johns Hopkins Center for Civilian Biodefense Strategies convened the meeting in collaboration with the Oklahoma City National Memorial Institute for the Prevention of Terrorism and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

Also in February I presented work on how we should prepare for the risk of a near-earth object strike, at the American Association for Advancement of Science meetings.

Also in February (busy month) I gave a talk at the City University of New York, Graduate Center, entitled "Mission Improbable: Using Fantasy Documents to Tame Disaster."


last updated: March 23, 2024