Effective Risk Communication  book cover
1st Edition

Effective Risk Communication

ISBN 9781849712651
Published October 3, 2013 by Routledge
360 Pages 30 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

There are two questions often asked of risk communication: what has been learned from past work, and what is needed to push the field forward? Drawing on the experience of leading risk researchers and practitioners, Effective Risk Communication focuses on answering these questions. The book draws together new examples of research and practice from contexts as diverse as energy generation, human health, nuclear waste, climate change, food choice, and social media. This book treats risk communication as much more than the interchange of risk information between experts and non-experts; rather, it aims to emphasise the diversity in viewpoints and practices.

In each specially commissioned chapter, the authors reflect on the theoretical and applied underpinnings of their best projects and comment on how their approach could be used effectively by others. Building upon each other, the chapters will provoke new discussion and action around a discipline which many feel is neither meeting important needs in practice, nor living up to its potential in research. Through a more careful examination of the work already done in risk communication, the book will help develop better, more reflective practice for the future.

Table of Contents

Introduction Joseph Árvai and Louie Rivers III  1. A Relational Theory of Risk: Lessons for risk communication Åsa Boholm and Hervé Corvellec  2. Video Interventions for Risk Communication and Decision Making Julie S. Downs  3. Communicating inconclusive scientific evidence Peter M. Wiedemann, Franziska U. Boerner and Holger Schütz  4. Communicating about Uncertainty in Multi-Stakeholder Groups Robin Gregory and Nate Dieckmann  5. New transparency policies: risk communication’s doom? Ragnar E. Lofstedt and Frederic Boude  6. Social distrust and its implications for risk communication:  An example from high level radioactive waste management Seth P. Tuler and Roger E. Kasperson  7. Fairness, Public Engagement, and Risk Communication John C. Besley and Katherine A. McComas  8. Why risk communicators should care about the fairness and competence of their public engagement process Thomas Webler  9. Risk Communication in Social Media Liz Neeley  10. The ‘Mental Models’ Methodology for Developing Communications: Adaptations for informing public risk management decisions about emerging technologies Lauren A. Fleishman-Mayer and Wändi Bruine de Bruin  11. Construing Risk: Implications for Risk Communication Adam Zwickle and Robyn S. Wilson  12. Risk Communication and Moral Emotions Sabine Roeser and Jessica Nihlén Fahlquist  13. The Role of Channel Beliefs in Risk Information Seeking  14. Risk Communication: Insights from the Decision Sciences Joseph Árvai and Victoria Campbell-Árvai  15. Risk Communication for Empowerment:  An Ultimate or Elusive Goal? Cindy G. Jardine and S.M. Driedger  16. Learning from Risk Communication Failures William Leiss  17. Exploring Unintended Consequences of Risk Communication Messages Charles T. Salmon, Sahara Byrne and Laleah Fernandez  18. Boomerang Effects in Risk Communication P. Sol Hart  19. The Role of Social and Decision Sciences in Communicating Uncertain Climate Risks Nick Pidgeon and Baruch Fischhoff


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Joseph Árvai is the Svare Chair in Applied Decision Research at the University of Calgary, Canada and is a Senior Researcher with Decision Research in Eugene, USA.

Louie Rivers III is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources at North Carolina State University, USA


"The book is an interesting mixture of practical, cookbook‐style notes (a detailed instruction on how to make a risk communication video takes center stage in the first category), general research ideas, case studies, and more abstract communication frameworks. I think that anybody interested in risk communication will be able to find something of value. The editors promise a mixture of well‐known and new faces on the risk communication scene and they do not disappoint. Effective Risk Communication authors are both newcomers and distinguished researchers in the field."Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management, Agnieszka D Hunka, University of Twente, the Netherlands