Science and Its Limits

The Regulator’s Dilemma
  • Alvin M. Weinberg
Part of the Contemporary Issues in Risk Analysis book series (CIRA, volume 2)


William Ruckelshaus, in his beautiful essay “Risk, Science and Democracy,”1 has expressed very clearly what I shall call the regulator’s dilemma. “During the past 15 years there has been a shift in public emphasis from visible and demonstrable problems, such as smog from automobiles and raw sewage, to potential and largely invisible problems, such as the effects of low concentrations of toxic pollutants on human health. This shift is notable for two reasons. First, it has changed the way in which science is applied to practical questions of public health protection and environmental regulation. Second, it has raised difficult questions as to how to manage chronic risks within the context of free and democratic institutions.”1


Rare Event Nuclear Regulatory Commission Light Water Reactor Probabilistic Risk Assessment Methyl Isocyanate 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alvin M. Weinberg
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute for Energy AnalysisOak Ridge Associated UniversitiesOak RidgeUSA

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