• Failed/ineffective communication during
    crisis and non-crisis events can lead to higher numbers of injuries and deaths.

  • “Communications could have been better”
    —Maria Galvez, Emergency Management Coordinator
    City of Katy, TX, after 8 people perished in floods.

    (Houston Chronicle)

  • “Tuesday’s severe weather ‘bust’ is a communication wake-up call.”
    —Bill Bunting, Operations Chief, Storm Prediction Center
    (Washington Post)

  • “Flooded...trains were the result of a communication breakdown.”
    —Bob Nelson, TriMet Deputy General Manager
    (The Oregonian)

Welcome to the Public Affairs Science and Technology (PAST) Fusion Cell and PAST Fusion Cell Academy at Argonne National Laboratory, a first-of-its-kind research and training facility that draws together forward-thinking public affairs professionals and social scientists from across the globe.

Our mission… “Learn from the PAST and Prepare for the Future.” Our vision… “Bridge the gap between public affairs practice and social science” in an effort to improve all aspects of communication as it relates to emergency management.

 

Public Affairs Science and Technology (PAST)

The Public Affairs Science and Technology (PAST) Fusion Cell is a leading research, training and exercise group at Argonne National Laboratory. We are committed to developing innovative tools, effective resource products, dynamic workshops, and challenging and realistic exercises for the public affairs community. Our intent is to:

☐ Monitor, observe and conduct research on real-world crises and events;
☐ Partner with all tiers of government to identify more effective methods of communication;
☐ Identify gaps and establish public affairs best practices for emergency management; and
☐ Apply the science of communication to maximize the efficacy of critical messaging.

Our mission, “Learn from the PAST and Prepare for the Future,” our vision, “Bridge the Gap between Public Affairs Practice and Social Science.”

PAST Fusion Cell Academy

Argonne’s PAST Fusion Cell Academy is a first-of-its‑kind training facility that engages with forward-thinking public affairs professionals and social scientists from across the globe in an effort to improve all aspects of communication as it relates to emergency management. The PAST Fusion Cell Academy provides a natural venue for teams of world‑class social scientists to work alongside public safety professionals to address some of the most significant communication challenges our nation and the world face today. We offer the most advanced training programs for emergency management communication professionals, and everything we do can be customized to meet the specific goals of your organization. From risk and crisis communication planning to the latest in social media methodologies and emerging technologies, you can count on our team to meet your consultation and training needs.

 

Argonne National Laboratory

Argonne is a multidisciplinary science and engineering research center, where talented scientists and engineers work together to answer the biggest questions facing humanity, from how to obtain affordable clean energy to protecting ourselves and our environment. Ever since we were born out of the University of Chicago’s work on the Manhattan Project in the 1940s, our goal has been to make an impact — from the atomic to the human to the global scale. The laboratory works in concert with universities, industry, and other national laboratories on questions and experiments too large for any one institution to do by itself. Through collaborations here and around the world, we strive to discover new ways to develop energy innovations through science, create novel materials molecule-by-molecule, and gain a deeper understanding of our planet, our climate, and the cosmos.