Risks and uncertainties top page

This is the top page for the "Risks and uncertainties" work I have been doing. There is currently an article about the risk of drugs and the associated difficulties with finding the risk, an article on Transport risks and a shorter article on the RoSPA accident database (this could stay internal).

Transport risks and uncertainties

We hear a lot about risks of transport. Hardly a week passes without a dramatic story about a plane or train crash, and many people change their travel arrangements based on stories read in the media. Why is this, and what are the true figures?

Drug risks and uncertainties

Reliable drug use figures are very difficult to find, and it is more difficult still to estimate accurately the associated risks. Some indication can be provided by drug use surveys combined with mortality figures, but there are many limitations to such data.

Postscript: What happened next

After a couple of days of fairly intensive discussion the news inevitably moved on to other topics, but a fairly clear message had been sent to NICE that the media will rapidly pick up on any divergence from the advice of the Department of Health.

Pending Content

Content in preparation

Clone of Bacon Sandwiches and Cancer - the issues

What evidence is being used?

The report itself is a review of all the available evidence on the influences of various foods and activities on the development of cancer, as judged by a panel of internationally distinguished scientists.

Clone of Bacon Sandwiches and Cancer

Lotto IconOn 31st October 2007 the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF, a charity/umbrella organisation “supporting research into the role of diet and nutrition in the prevention of cancer”) issued a press release to advertise their comprehensive report on the influences of nutrition and physical activity on cancer, “Food, Nutrition, Physical Activity and the Prevention of Cancer: a Global Perspective”, available at http://www.wcrf-uk.org/research_science/expert_report.lasso.

Clone of Risk in the media

Why risk in the media?

headlines from newspaperNo-one can be an expert in every subject. We may have left formal science teaching behind at school, or have continued through university. We may keep up to date by reading scientific periodicals and websites - or just wish we had the time to do so! But as news breaks of yet another scientific discovery, we all start with what the media have made of the story, and how they present it to us.

Sociological theories of risk

Sociologically oriented research has been asking questions on what uses the talk of risks fulfils: why are risks talked about as they are, what roles do they play in society? Since "risk" is a relatively modern concept, what are the features of modern life that make thinking about risk so distictively modern? What other concepts used to fulfil the role played nowadays by risk?


Risk has been studied from a variety of perspectives, which can most easily be categorised as the psychological approaches to risk and the social scientific approaches to risk [link - to come]. Both traditions are concerned with finding out more about how people percieve and understand risk, and how they react towards it, though they differ in their interpretations of what risk actually is, and in their ideas of what if anything should be done about their insights to risk.


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