UGM Psychology Professor Delivers Insightful Talk on Social Disasters during Guest Lecture on USK Postgraduate School Anniversary

Group photo session at Guest Lecture

Banda Aceh – Master of disaster science Universitas Syiah Kuala (USK) in collaboration with TDMRC USK held a disaster guest lecture in commemoration of the 21st anniversary of the Graduate School on Saturday, December 2, 2023. This time the guest lecturer who attended and gave a guest lecture was a professor from the Faculty of Psychology, Universitas Gadjah Mada, Prof. Drs. Koentjoro, MBSc., Ph.D., Psychologist.

This 2-hour guest lecture was attended by more than 70 participants who filled the mini theater room of Sekolah Pascasarjana of USK. Participants came from students and the public, most of whom were USK Master of Disaster Science students, USK Master of Architecture students, students who are members of UKM Fastana TDMRC, lecturers and many more.

The series of activities began with remarks by the director of TDMRC USK, Prof. Syamsidik, then continued with remarks as well as opening remarks by the Director of the USK graduate school, Prof. Hizir, presentations by Prof. Koentjoro, questions and answers and closed with conclusions by the Head of the Master of Disaster Science Study Program, Dr. Rina Suryani Oktari.

In his initial remarks, Prof. Syamsidik revealed the fundamental difference between what the previous generation faced and the current generation, “The changing times are new challenges. Like college students who are only now children who are not exposed to tsunamis, we need to adjust new formulas to deliver disaster information. In this case, TDMRC and SPS USK are committed to socializing disaster safety attitudes, and of course this needs an internalization process closely related to psychology”, he said.

On this occasion, Prof. Syamsidik also expressed his gratitude for the collaboration between the Faculty of Psychology UGM and USK, both for the success in hosting AIWEST in October 2023 and for the various collaborations that continue to be established.

In addition, thanks were also conveyed by the Director of the Graduate School, Prof. Hizir, for Prof. Koentjoro’s presence in filling the guest lecture of the Master of Disaster Science in the framework of the 21st anniversary of the USK Graduate School (SPS). In his opening remarks Prof. Hizir sparked an interesting question about Minister Nadiem Makarim’s message regarding 5 important things for children to learn today: foreign languages, programming languages, statistics, communication and psychology.

Prof. Syamsidik and Prof. Koentjoro

Prof. Syamsidik and Prof. Koentjoro

“I became interested in this Prof, and wanted to ask Prof. directly. Kun, why did Minister Nadiem mention psychology?” asked prof. Hizir.

Prof. Hizir also hopes that this guest lecture can open the insights of participants and guests present regarding the important role of psychology in disaster science.

Prof. Koentjoro brought a guest lecture today with the title of presentation on Social Change and Disaster, From the Industrial Revolution, Human Rights Awareness, Big Data, Covid 19, and Chimerika to Digitalization and Its Impact on Human Behavior. In the initial preamble he emphasized the importance of psychology in the world of disasters “disasters become meaningful because of the existence of humans, the existence of victims, and these humans cannot be separated from psychological.

“Geologists, seismologists are meaningless without psychology, because to talk about disasters is to talk about helping people and this cannot be separated from psychological.”

In addition to discussing the impact of the industrial revolution on disasters and social change, the professor who completed his S3 in Social Works and Social Policy from La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia also touched on Artificial Intelligence which will be like 2 sides of an equally sharp blade, in addition to bringing ease in completing human work, the presence of AI is also feared to eliminate human innate intelligence.

In addition, the Professor who is familiarly called Prof. Kun also touched on the impact of gadget use on children, “this can limit children’s creative space, sooner or later this condition will have a bad impact on future generations”. He continued.

This lecture invited high enthusiasm from participants, in an active question and answer session participants submitted various questions. One of the interesting questions came from USK architecture master students, with questions related to the psychology of people who prefer to flee to the mosque rather than to the safety building built by the government, as well as the current phenomenon where more and more people inhabit locations that are incidentally disaster-prone areas, such as the rampant construction of housing on the beach, especially in the Banda Aceh region.

In a separate interview, the Head of the Master of Disaster Science Study Program, Dr. Rina Suryani Oktari, conveyed the commitment of the USK Master of Disaster Science to continue to carry out interesting and comprehensive guest lectures related to disaster science, by inviting disaster experts from national and international. This guest lecture is expected to be an effort to socialize disasters to students and the public.

“Some time ago, we invited guest lecturers from the University of Huddersfield, England, to discuss the role of technology in disasters. Last week we also just invited disaster art experts from the National University of Singapore (NUS), and there are many more guest lectures and seminars that we have held. This time, we invite the Professor of Psychology UGM to add insight into disasters related to psychology, and for next week, we have also prepared another guest lecture with Dr. Eko Teguh Paripurno, familiarly called Kang ET, whose expertise in the world of disasters is no doubt.”