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SBE 2020: Submission Detail

ID Number: 71
Title: Risk Governance in a Non-Linear World
Lead Author: Tierney, Kathleen J
Abstract: U. S. society and U. S. risk research have operated on the assumption that past experience is a good predictor of future risks. However, this assumption is being increasingly challenged by the nonlinear nature of risk-related phenomena, as evidenced by recent catastrophic disasters, climate-change-related phenomena, and the world financial crisis. Climate-change scientists have concluded that stationarity is dead, but the same can be said in other scientific domains, owing to the speed and complex causal linkages that characterize our non-linear world. New risks are unprecedented, increasingly complex, and global in scale. Some social scientists even argue that our ability to create new risks has now far outpaced our ability to manage them. The premise of this white paper is that risk governance in a non-linear world requires new paradigms for the conceptualization of risk and new scientific endeavors, including activities that significantly blur disciplinary boundaries. This is an urgent need, because lessons learned from past experience and research may prove wholly inadequate for the risk governance challenges of the future. Mapping the emerging risk landscape and creating new risk governance institutions require both closer collaboration among the social science disciplines and closer integration between the social science and STEM disciplines.
PDF: Tierney_Kathleen_71.pdf

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