SRA Europe 2007 Conference: Aims and scope

The 16th SRA Europe Annual Meeting has taken place in The Hague, the Netherlands, on 17 - 19 June 2007.

The book of abstracts can be downloaded here.

 

The Society for Risk Analysis (SRA) is a multidisciplinary, interdisciplinary, scholarly, international society that provides an open forum for all those who are interested in risk analysis. Risk analysis is broadly defined to include risk assessment, risk characterization, risk communication and perception, risk management, and risk policy. It may concern individuals, public and private organizations, and society at a local, regional, national or global level. SRA-Europe is a section of the Society for Risk Analysis.

The 2007 conference of SRA-Europe will take place in The Hague, the Netherlands. The conference theme is “Building bridges: issues for future risk research”. The conference aims to facilitate interaction among all players in the risk field: risk experts from all disciplines, and risk stakeholders as policy makers, the private sector, NGOs and other interest groups. The conference will take a comprehensive view of risk analysis. It will address existing and emerging risk issues which affect people in their environment. The progress made in two decades of SRA-Europe meetings will be evaluated and research focal points for the coming years will be identified. Focal points will be:

Risk identification, quantification and mitigation: Risks related to new technologies (DNA-technology, UMTS etc.), natural phenomena (like floods, volcanoes or violent storms), climate change, microbiological infection (pandemic influenza, Sars, food borne disease etc ) and terrorism are prominent in today’s world. The assessment and mitigation of such risks is of crucial importance and will be explicitly addressed at the conference. Well-known existing risks, on the other hand, may prove to be less manageable than envisaged, and presentations in this area are also of special interest.

Consequences, vulnerability and victim support: Accidents and disasters happen. In today’s modern, complex and global world, incidents not only affect local individuals, companies, organisations and governments but also those in other areas of the world. Conference participants are invited to share their research on the health-related, financial and emotional consequences for victims, and the manner in which these can be reduced. Indirect consequences in terms of loss of public trust, reputation loss and financial loss to industry, political damage to governmental authorities and desirable changes in risk communication policy will also be addressed.

Public perception & communication: Understanding risk perception and communication are essential components of the risk analysis process. Scientists, public, authorities and media all have their own perception of risks, which may give rise to societal controversies concerning the acceptability of situations perceived as hazardous. Special emphasis will thus be given to studies on risk perception and communication.

Financial and economic consequences: Accidents lead to physical damage and, in severe cases, to the destruction of important infrastructural elements, which might affect economic development. The insurance branch continually has to recalculate financial risks and reconsider insurance premiums and coverage. Accident and risk prevention have become important economic activities, in which attitudes and issues of perception and communication are gaining importance as well.

Risk management through policy making and legislation: To remedy hazardous situations and prevent future disasters, rules and regulations are needed. New risks and accidents might call for a response from policy makers. As the countries of the world become more and more interdependent and the number of multinationals increases, the need for homogeneous international risk policy and legislation also increases. A special session will be held on the policy implications of risks and accidents.

Communication within and between organisations: Effective risk management depends on adequate communication and cooperation within and between organisations, including governmental agencies. Trust is often seen to play a key role here. At the conference, the manner in which the communication between organisations can be improved, will be an important issue.

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