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Development of methods for obtaining trade-off judgements from the public suitable for input to decisions on thesiting of hazardous chemical industry installations


To conduct experimental studies to identify optimal formats for the presentation of hazard information;
To develop robust and reliable techniques for obtaining informed trade-off judgements from the public for use in multi-attribute analyses of siting options;
To evaluate the validity of such procedures in terms of public perceptions of the appropriateness and justice of decision processes including the conditions under which compensation may be viewed as an acceptable element.

Existing research has established that factors beyond, or even instead of, technical risk assessment may affect the responses of people faced with information on hazardous installations. A range of qualitative factors, of the risk-causing agents and of possible outcomes, will affect the public response to proposed developments and it is very likely that policies which do not take account of the way the public structure and judge the issues will fail.

Four main sets of tasks will be conducted. The first will comprise a series of studies of hazard information and presentation formats in which factors likely to affect responses would be varied experimentally. The second will develop techniques for obtaining trade-off judgements from the public in the context of chemical plant siting decisions. The third will examine the acceptability of decision procedures, using questionnaire techniques. The fourth will comprise a series of focus group discussions and interviews with the aim of eliciting information from the public on their views about the relevant legal systems and jurisprudence. Contextual factors are likely to be very important and would therefore be taken into account by conducting the research in areas where there has been a controversial sitting a non-controversial siting, a rejected siting and a non-siting location. The focus groups and questionnaire development would be the main responsibility of the Law School of Liège, the surveys will be taken in Belgium and the UK.

Funding Scheme

CSC - Cost-sharing contracts


University Campus, Stag Hill, Duke Of Kent Buildin
GU2 5TE Guildford
United Kingdom

Participants (1)

7,Boulevard Du Rectorat 7, Bèt B31
4000 Liege