Science Pops Open, Ep. 3: After an Earthquake, the Show Must Go On

Research fellows of the AXA Research Fund tell the story of their work to reduce an array of risks

Science Pops Open, Ep. 3: After an Earthquake, the Show Must  Go On

In an earthquake, a building that doesn’t collapse is a well-designed building, right? That’s not the whole story, says Dr. Anna Reggio. Preventing structural collapse is necessary, but not sufficient, for a community to bounce back after disaster. Her research helps change building codes so hat existing and future constructions take into account all the dimensions of earthquake resilience. In this interview, find out how this engineer contributes to making society safer.

Cet article existe également en français :
Science Pops Open, Ep. 3: Retomber sur ses pieds après un tremblement de terre

 

In an earthquake, a building that doesn’t collapse is a well-designed building, right? That’s not the whole story, says Dr. Anna Reggio. Preventing structural collapse is necessary, but not sufficient, for a community to bounce back after disaster. To show resilience, it needs to maintain, as much as possible, its essential functions: hospitals must still treat patients; water and power must still be provided; industrial plants must continue to operate without any environmental impact or prolonged downtime. To recover quickly and efficiently, a community must also minimize the indirect losses resulting from businesses interruption, displaced populations and unemployment.

Designing a structure to reduce loss of life in an earthquake is thus only a minimum. Much more could be achieved if the aim were to maintain a specific level of operations for each essential building, with what is known as performance-based seismic design. Dr. Reggio is developing methods to analyze the earthquake readiness of buildings and identifying design criteria that will ensure both structural safety and the continuous functioning of essential systems and equipment. Her research helps change building codes so that existing and future constructions take into account all the dimensions of earthquake resilience, thereby aiming to reduce the impact of a variety of risks that arise when the earth starts to shake. By proposing new ideas and potential solutions, this engineer hopes to contribute to making society safer. Find out in this interview how she does it:

 

Next Monday:

Sleeping sickness is a terrible disease, carried by the tsetse fly, that is fatal 100% of the time if not treated…but even today’s drugs can be fatal for the patient. Fabien Guégan feels certain there is an “orchestra conductor” on the genetic level coordinating all the reactions of the parasite responsible; if he can find it, he hopes to be able to treat this and other human diseases.

Past Episodes of Science Pops Open:

Ep. 1 – Your body can defend itself against cancer. It just needs a little help!, with Margot Cucchetti 

Ep. 2 – Improving outcomes of crisis and conflict, thanks to an ethnographic outlook, with Ruben Andersson

Ep. 3 – After an Earthquake, the Show Must Go On, with Anna Reggio

Ep. 4 – Disrupting the Sleeping Sickness Symphony, with Fabien Guegan

Ep. 5 – Optimizing Welfare…and Equality, with Sean Slack

Ep. 6 – Awaiting Balance in the Adolescent Brain, with Kiki Zanolie

Ep. 7 – Come Drought or High Water, with Luciano Raso

Ep. 8 – Taking European Tornadoes by Storm, with Bogdan Antonescu

Ep. 9 – Learning to Tackle Climate Change Together, with Sandrine Sidze

Ep. 10 – Nourish the Children of Urban Slums, with Sophie Goudet

Ep. 11 – In Money Matters, We're Only Human, with Jeroen Nieboer

Ep. 12 – A Depressed Sense of Smell?, with Kalliopi Apazoglou

Ep. 13 – Climate Shifts Carried on a River of Air, with Nikolaos Bakas

Ep. 14 – Something in the Air Down There, with Fulvio Amato

Ep. 15 – Foretelling a Complex Future for our Complex Ecosystems, with Phillip Staniczenko

Ep. 16 – From Childhood Illness to Innovative Antibiotics, with Agata Starosta

Ep. 17 – Plants & Poisons: Assessing Contamination in Our Environment, with Natalia Ospina-Alvarez

Ep. 18 – Voice of a Storm Surge, with Emiliano Renzi