Eric McNulty and Leonard Marcus of the National Preparedness Leadership Initiative (NPLI), a joint program of Harvard’s School of Public Health and Kennedy School of Government, commented on resilience in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings in a May 10, 2013 Boston Globe Sunday Magazine story.
McNulty is a researcher with NPLI, which studies crisis leadership and trains officials at all levels of government. Resilience means different things to different people, he told the Globe. For those who suffered trauma, it’s the ability to move on. For engineers, it’s systems returning to normal after a disruption. Ecologists look for resilience in the natural world’s ability to adapt to changed conditions following a disaster, such as water levels altered by flooding.
Marcus, NPLI’s co-director, said that it would be difficult for officials to make the Marathon more secure without impinging on its spirit of openness. However, given the pattern of terrorist attacks focusing on areas of maximum disruption, security changes could focus on the areas of greatest vulnerability such as the starting and finish line, he said.