Prof. Ilan CHABAY


The overarching frame of my work is understanding how to facilitate societal transformations toward just, equitable, and sustainable futures. I am especially interested in how knowledge production, learning processes, and collective behavior change interact in different societies and how that relates to sustainable futures. This is also the mission of the international research and action alliance on Knowledge, Learning, and Societal Change (, which I chair. Under this framework I seek to improve the capacity of stakeholders to make informed and effective decisions on their futures.

Issues of particular interest include a) decision-making processes by stakeholders for sustainable governance of risks and resources at multiple governance levels and spatial scales (e.g., in mitigating or adapting to risks imposed by rapid changes in land use and conditions, resource extraction and use), and b) understanding how emerging science and technology can develop with social innovation to lead to more sustainable outcomes in societies.


I have been a member of the science and technical committee of the UN ISDR program for several years. I spent many years designing learning experiences for the public in science centers around the world, including Disney, Smithsonian, NASA, and more than 200 others. In addition to addressing specific risks (AIDS, radiation, flooding, climate change), spending many years in designing and producing physical and virtual learning exhibitions provided me with insights in public perception and understanding of science and technology, which is highly relevant to risk communication strategies.  My early research career focused on developing novel sensitive and accurate spectroscopic measurement techniques that had and continue to be applied to air and water pollution measurements and biological assays. In this sense my early work related to risk measurement.

My Research Projects on our website

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