Few publications may claim to have transcended the original field in which they were written, by shaping a wide range of research areas and philosophies. In this short paper we reflect on the manner in which Gilbert F. White’s 1945 publication ‘Human adjustment to floods’ has not only shaped how we study and perceive flooding, but has also had a significance beyond its original aims, revolutionizing the ways in which hazard and risk are conceptualized more generally. Before considering the impact of ‘Human adjustment to floods’, we briefly review academic understanding of floods in the decades leading up to the 1940s and later place the 1945 paper in the context of White’s subsequent contributions to research which both developed and built on his ideas.
- Flood management
- Gilbert F. White