The roots of resilience

Resilience is on many people’s minds these days. Hurricanes and fires regularly wallop communities. The risks of climate change loom large, and the horrors of war and the refugee crises they’ve spawned show no signs of abating. Bitter political divisions have yielded to acrimony and gloom. But although hardship cripples some, others rebound. What can science can teach us about how we might adapt and gird for future challenges? In this series of stories, we examine ways of coping with natural disasters, war and displacement, and climate change—not to mention resilience tactics in nature. One psychologist coined the term ordinary magic to describe the mix of features that brews resilience. From our stories, we learned that no clear-cut recipe exists. And yet despite long odds, scientists are parsing answers to key questions. Some carry policy prescriptions; others require an uncomfortable rethinking of adaptations needed to survive. Perhaps most important, we found that this research cultivates something that’s in short supply these days: It breeds hope.

The roots of resilience
Jennifer Couzin-Frankel

Science  02 Mar 2018:
Vol. 359, Issue 6379, pp. 970-971
DOI: 10.1126/science.359.6379.970