My work focuses on risk and disaster, with particular interests in modern cities, technology, and public policy. My most recent book is "The Disaster Experts: Mastering Risk in Modern America" (UPenn Press, 2011), and I am series co-editor of "Critical Studies in Risk and Disaster" (UPenn Press, launch 2014). Presently I am also a faculty research fellow of the Disaster Research Center at the University of Delaware. Since 2011, I have been a member of the Fukushima Forum collaborative research community, with which I am currently co-authoring an edited volume on the Fukushima disasters.
I am active in the Philadelphia historical community--in 2009 I published an edited volume titled "Imagining Philadelphia: Edmund Bacon and the Future of the City" (UPenn Press, 2009), and I have contributed to the "Encyclopedia of Greater Philadelphia". My work has appeared in academic venues such as Technology and Culture, Isis, History and Technology, Annals of Science, the Journal of American History and the Journal of the American Planning Association. I also write for more popular publications like the New York Times, The Hill, U.S. News and World Report and the Philadelphia Inquirer, among others. I have enjoyed the opportunity to discuss disaster history and politics on the Marty Moss Coane Show and the Leonard Lopate Show.
In 2013-2014 I served on Philadelphia Mayor Michael A. Nutter's Special Advisory Commission on Licenses and Inspections.