Past, Present and Future: Building an Interdisciplinary Disaster Research Center on a Half-Century of Social Science Disaster Research

McNeil, Sue
Quarantelli, E. L.
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Disaster Research Center
Systematic social science disaster research began in the 1950s. The Disaster Research Center (DRC), the first social science research center in the world devoted to the study of disasters, was established at Ohio State University in 1963 and moved to the Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice at the University of Delaware in 1985. DRC has played an important role over the last 50 years having conducted over 660 field studies. With this firm foundation in the social sciences, DRC is now evolving into an interdisciplinary research center. This paper reviews some of the field and survey research conducted by DRC on group, organizational and community preparation for, response to, and recovery from natural and technological disasters and other community wide crises, and then explores how this fits with DRC's evolving role in interdisciplinary research and education.
Disaster Research , Sociology