The University of Kentucky's Division of Risk Sciences in the College of Communication and Information was launched to bring together researchers across disciplines to provide broader, more systemic and interdisciplinary approaches for understanding how to manage risks and crises. Initiatives include advanced education in risk sciences, extensive research programs in a variety of risk areas, organizational training and consulting, and community engagement and outreach.

Risk Sciences faculty engage in practical, applied research by coupling communication theory with state-of-the-art technology. Our research extends into the classroom through the Graduate Certificate in Risk Sciences and into the community through consulting and outreach.

Current research projects include:

  • Media tracking for organizations and government agencies that need to know how messages are being communicated by the media and received by the public in a crisis

  • Message testing to determine which message elements increase the likelihood that individuals will take protective actions for environmental and health risks

  • Participatory community-based research to develop messages most relevant to audiences

  • Community audits to determine trusted and reliable communication channels for disaster warning and recovery information

  • Network analyses to describe how relationships in groups or organizations affect safety practices