Advisor Board Note: 2. Why Hazards Science? (Hazardology and Future Studies)

Editor-in-Chief Lecture


Advisor to the Chairman and Head of Office of Future Studies, Iranian Academy of Sciences; Member of the editorial, Journal of Hazard Science, Professor of Allameh Tabatabai University


Before giving any preliminary definition of “hazard” (calamity) and “hazardology”, it is important to notice that “who” is giving this definition, a geologist, a sociologist, an ethnologist, an expert in law, a religionologist, etc? Certainly, each of these people has their own personal assumptions & presuppositions and so will look at the matter from a different point of view. Also, there are different categories of hazards: natural, internal or inside, terrestrial, human, spiritual, etc., many of which have been addressed in The Holy Qur’an too. Scholars attending this meeting will define hazard and hazardology from their own respective. However, as a preliminary suggestion, one may say that hazard or calamity is what damages or destroys human being’s products or generation (Holy Qur’an, 2/30). From a theological point of view, this originates from man’s “arrogance” against God (ibid, 20/24, 43) or his excesses (ibid, 6/31) and squandering (ibid, 44/31). Apart from these spiritual matters, another source of hazardous actions is man’s unlimited use, or rather misuse, of natural resources, technological developments (atomic bomb), or unconditional or unethical application of IT, cognitive, biology, and other new/modern sciences. So much about hazards and hazardology, now we have to turn to futuring or future studies. Very briefly, futuring is not some sort of trending or forecasting, but rather to try to make or achieve a desirable future and, at the same time or even more important than that, trying to avoid non-desirable (calamitous, hazardous, dangerous, etc.) futures. Thus, it seems, hazardology has a direct relation with future studies. In other words, with the past and present “natural” and “human-made” calamities and hazards in mind, we have to think of a future devoid of such misdeeds and misfortunes, and try to make such a future or at least move towards that goal. The human race has only one earth to live in and as such should earnestly try to keep and preserve it for the generations to come.