Assisted Migration, Risks and Scientific Uncertainty, and Ethics: A Comment on Albrecht et al.’s Review Paper

  • Marko AhteensuuEmail author
  • Susanna Lehvävirta
Review Paper


In response to Albrecht et al.’s (J Agric Environ Ethics 26(4):827–845, 2013) discussion on the ethics of assisted migration, we emphasize the issues of risk and scientific uncertainty as an inextricable part of a comprehensive ethical evaluation. Insisting on a separation of risk and ethical considerations, although arguably common in many policy contexts, is at best misguided and at worst damaging.


Assisted migration Ethics Risk Scientific uncertainty Precautionary principle 



This work is part of the Academy of Finland research project number 258144 “Constraints and Opportunities of Assisted Dispersal of Plants in Climate Change Adaptation–Biological, Legal and Ethical Analyses (CO-ADAPT)”. Helpful comments by Maria Hällfors, Elina Vaara and Helena Siipi on an earlier version of this response were much appreciated.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Assisted Migration Research Program, Botany Unit, Finnish Museum of Natural HistoryUniversity of HelsinkiHelsinkiFinland

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