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New Scientist recommends When the Dust Settles by Lucy Easthope

The books, TV, games and more that New Scientist staff have enjoyed this week

By Jacob Aron

10 April 2024

2F7CCFA London, UK. 6 Apr 2021. After a week the wall nears its completion, stretching all the way to Lambeth Bridge - The national Covid Memorial Wall outside St Thomas' Hospital on the southbank. Family and friends of some of the more than one hundred and forty-five thousand people who've lost their lives to Covid-19 are drawing hearts by hand on a wall opposite Parliament in London. Each heart represents someone who was loved. Credit: Guy Bell/Alamy Live News

Guy Bell/Alamy

Before I read When the Dust Settles by Lucy Easthope, I hadn’t even realised disaster recovery was a discipline – the aftermath of a tragedy seems too raw to be an object of study. I stand corrected, thanks to her compassionate book.

Over the past 20 years, Easthope, a professor of risk and hazard at Durham University, UK, has been involved with UK disasters (or ones involving its citizens): from terrorism to the Fukushima meltdown and the covid-19 pandemic (the UK’s covid memorial wall is shown above). She details mistakes and triumphs, and how we can do better. Essential reading.…

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