Institutional Initiatives for Risk Management
The issue of institutional initiatives for risk management is a crucial topic for discussion, as it confronts an important next step in the evolution of risk assessment as a tool of public policy. We know that risk analysis has become a defined discipline with well-known techniques and methodologies. We’re well beyond using it in public policy on a “risk only” basis, in which we trigger actions regardless of the gradation of the risk. We’re also beyond the naive technocratic notion that we can use it in public policy in a purely mathematical way, computing a hierarchy of risks and expecting public policymakers to let the numbers dominate whatever other values or philosophies they have. Similarly, the notion of a “science court” has dimmed in attractiveness, as we have grasped the complexity of non-technical factors which must be weighed in a risk decision. But, having turned away from the most simplistic applications, we must now face the question of devising institutions which can credibly handle the full array of uncertain and ambigious technical and non-technical issues in risk management decisionmaking.
KeywordsArena Saccharin Plague
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