Defeating Terrorism: What Can Human Factors/Ergonomics Offer?


Hancock, P.A., & Hart, S.G. (2002). Defeating terrorism: What can Human Factors/Ergonomics offer? Ergonomics in Design, 10(1), 6-16.

“The times change and we must change with them.” In light of the events of September 11, 2001, this is indeed true. In response, a panel was convened at the 45th Annual meeting of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society in early October 2001 to explore some human factors/ergonomics (HF/E) implications of the attacks and the ways in which future attacks may be avoided through the application of our science. The following article, an extension of that discussion, seeks to communicate ways HF/E can address the vast range of technical challenges that, because of these acts of terrorism, now face society.
First, we describe some of the existing HF/E research that is relevant to the challenges posed by the events of September 11. (After all, HF/E professionals are not new-comers to the concerns that have been identified.) Second, we provide a brief summary of some areas in which we see opportunities for HF/E science to contribute.

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