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Authors: De Lucia, M. 
Editors: Wyss, M. 
Peppoloni, S. 
Title: “When Will Vesuvius Erupt?” Why Research Institutes Must Maintain a Dialogue with the Public in a High-Risk Volcanic Area: The Vesuvius Museum Observatory
Publisher: Elsevier
Issue Date: 18-Nov-2014
ISBN: 978-0-12-799935-7
Keywords: Vesuvius
Volcano observatory
Volcanic hazard communication
Visitor survey
Subject Classification05. General::05.03. Educational, History of Science, Public Issues::05.03.99. General or miscellaneous 
Abstract: In areas of active but dormant volcanoes, people need to know some basic facts: What volcano is going to erupt? What kind of eruption will occur? When and where will it take place? Why will it occur? And, also, what should citizens do to save themselves and their families? Communications travel in a complex network of connections among individuals and groups. If the main stakeholders involved do not work together to deliver coherent and complementary messages, the transmitted message may be contradictory, or inconsistent. Misunderstanding and confusion will take over, increasing rather than mitigating the risk. For this reason, citizens need to turn to scientists and research institutes working in hazardous areas as key interlocutors for matters concerning basic information concerning volcanic hazard. At the same time, scientists in charge of volcano surveillance, together with emergency managers, media, and public officials, have the duty to answer citizens’ need for information, exploring multiple channels and languages to communicate effectively. The present chapter analyzes some systematic studies and multidisciplinary research projects on this topic that have been carried out in recent years. It also points out an analysis of the public use of the Vesuvius Observatory museum, which is a reference information point for people living in the Naples (Italy) area and exposed to volcano hazard.
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