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April 9, 2009

Raskin Symposium Explores Topic of Airplane Crash Survival

On April 1, nearly fifty students, faculty and injury control professionals honored the work of the late Daniel J. Raskin at an annual lecture endowed by his mother, the late Vivian Raskin. Raskin was a highly skilled human factors investigator for the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and a tireless advocate for transportation safety and injury prevention. He was killed as a volunteer firefighter in 1990 by a preventable explosion of faulty equipment. The goal of the lectureship is to educate public health professionals and the broader community about current research, policy and programs to reduce injury.

The symposium, “Surviving Airplane Crashes: Miracles or Science,” featured two former colleagues of Raskin, Nora Marshall, Chief of Human Performance and Survival at NTSB and Robert S. Dodd, ScD, MS, Chief of Safety Studies and Statistical Analysis at NTSB. Marshall spoke about “What’s New in Accident Survival” and Dodd discussed "Crash Survival Improvements and Politics".  

The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health's Center for Injury Research and Policy hosts the annual event. Sue Baker, MPH, a professor with the Center, commented on how the theme of the lecture paralleled Raskin’s work in injury prevention. “Nora and Bob both spoke about the opportunities for survival following a plane crash, a topic that doesn’t receive much attention in the press. By giving examples of the types of changes required to prevent future aviation-related deaths, they taught us all a great deal about the kinds of next steps we need to pursue to save lives.”—Alicia Samuels

Media contact for Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health: Natalie Wood-Wright at 410-955-6878 or nwoodwri@jhsph.edu.