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This study co-ordinated by Dr. Stirling shows how greatly our thinking has changed on issues of the management of risks. The use of sophisticated scientific methods in the assessment and then management of risks began with the problems of major industrial hazards, notably those of nuclear power. At first it was believed that quantitative techniques, either of statistics or of modeling, would suffice for the guidance of risk policy and risk management. But as experience accumulated, it became clear that while science is an essential core of the assessment process, it could not be the whole. The supplementary materials have a variety of names, including 'participation' and 'precaution'; and their practical content is still being developed.

Now the hazards we face are more diffuse, and in their own way more threatening. There are concerned publics, capable of acting in a co-ordinated way and directly affecting government policies for the environment and whole industries. We may say that in such issues, facts are uncertain, values in dispute, stakes high and decisions urgent. The traditional peer communities, formerly restricted to qualified experts, are now extended to include citizen participants at many levels.

The management of these new processes present many difficulties. It is to the credit of Dr. Stirling and his colleagues that the problems are analysed to such depth, and that such important and useful practical lessons are drawn. This report can become a valuable contribution to the resolution of an urgent problem.

Additional information

Authors: STIRLING A (EDITOR), SPRU University of Sussex
Bibliographic Reference: EUR 19056 EN (1999), 77pp, Euro: free of charge
Availability: Available from the European Commission, DG XII Communication Unit, rue de la Loi/Wetstraat 200, B-1049 Bruxelles (BE) Tel: +32-2-2950001 Fax:+32-2-2958220
ISBN: ISBN: Not available
Record Number: 200012942 / Last updated on: 2000-12-18
Original language: en
Available languages: en
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