Science and Sociology: The Transition to a Post-Conservative Risk Assessment Era

  • Terry F. Yosie
Part of the Advances in Risk Analysis book series (AIRA, volume 7)


I want to express my appreciation to the Society for Risk Analysis for the opportunity to present some thoughts on the issue of conservatism in risk assessment. I am using the term conservative as a synonym for the word “protective.” The issue of conservatism is at the heart of what I perceive to be a central question before the Environmental Protection Agency, other regulatory agencies and members of the professional community concerned with the application of risk assessment to decision making. That question concerns our increased ability to substitute scientific data for assumptions, and the intellectual, institutional and societal difficulties encountered in making this substitution. The tensions along these factors comprise what I am calling the transition to a post-conservative era in risk assessment. Like all transitions, the outcome is still in doubt; however, through the citation of some current examples I believe it is possible to state some prominent characteristics of the transition.


Risk Assessment Inorganic Arsenic Conservative Assumption Codify Risk Assessment Probable Human Carcinogen 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Terry F. Yosie
    • 1
  1. 1.U.S. Environmental Protection AgencyUSA

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