The 6th REA Symposium, held in Lisbon from 22nd – 25thJune 2015,
was a great success. As we expected, participation was even larger, and more exciting debates took place.
Lisbon, a beautiful city full of history, may be considered as the birthplace of risk management! Indeed, as you probably know, on the 1st of November 1755, the city was devastated by a severe earthquake during Mass ceremonies, followed by a tsunami and extensive fires. At least 30,000 of 250,000 inhabitants were killed. The organization of the response to the disaster, including epidemic prevention, maintenance of order and reconstruction of the capital of Portugal was then led by the Marquis of Pombal, to whom we owe the first example of a rational organization of emergency measures during a major disaster. Even more interestingly, Voltaire then wrote his famous ” Poem on Lisbon disaster, or review of the “all is well “axiom”. He refuted the optimistic thesis defended by Leibniz, Pope and Wolf, who argued that the world created by God is organized by Providence in such a way that a necessary Evil will be offset by an increasing Good. This poem then fuelled a lively debate between Voltaire and Rousseau. According to Voltaire, God is not responsible for the affairs of mankind. This triggered an historical paradigm shift: before the Lisbon earthquake, risk was regarded as a divine mystery. After this date, risk became the responsibility of mankind. So Risk Management people like to see Voltaire as their ancestor.
Could we have found a better place to discuss resilience? If your answer is yes, your suggestion will be seriously considered for the 7th Symposium!
It was great to meet you in the exciting world of Resilience Engineering.
Resilience Engineering Association
Sponsors 6th Symposium on Resilience Engineering: