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Is Risk Analysis Scientific

Published on Jul 1, 2014in Risk Analysis2.56
· DOI :10.1111/risa.12230
Sven Ove Hansson39
Estimated H-index: 39
(KTH: Royal Institute of Technology),
E.B. Abrahamsen and Terje Aven48
Estimated H-index: 48
(University of Stavanger)
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Abstract
This article discusses to what extent risk analysis is scientific in view of a set of commonly used definitions and criteria. We consider scientific knowledge to be characterized by its subject matter, its success in developing the best available knowledge in its fields of study, and the epistemic norms and values that guide scientific investigations. We proceed to assess the field of risk analysis according to these criteria. For this purpose, we use a model for risk analysis in which science is used as a base for decision making on risks, which covers the five elements evidence, knowledge base, broad risk evaluation, managerial review and judgment, and the decision; and that relates these elements to the domains experts and decisionmakers, and to the domains fact-based or value-based. We conclude that risk analysis is a scientific field of study, when understood as consisting primarily of (i) knowledge about risk-related phenomena, processes, events, etc., and (ii) concepts, theories, frameworks, approaches, principles, methods and models to understand, assess, characterize, communicate, and manage risk, in general and for specific applications (the instrumental part).
  • References (34)
  • Citations (37)
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References34
Newest
Published on Jun 1, 2014in Philosophia
Massimo Pigliucci45
Estimated H-index: 45
(CUNY: City University of New York),
Maarten Boudry12
Estimated H-index: 12
(CUNY: City University of New York)
The concept of burden of proof is used in a wide range of discourses, from philosophy to law, science, skepticism, and even in everyday reasoning. This paper provides an analysis of the proper deployment of burden of proof, focusing in particular on skeptical discussions of pseudoscience and the paranormal, where burden of proof assignments are most poignant and relatively clear-cut. We argue that burden of proof is often misapplied or used as a mere rhetorical gambit, with little appreciation o...
Published on Jan 1, 2014in Reliability Engineering & System Safety4.04
E.B. Abrahamsen and Terje Aven48
Estimated H-index: 48
(University of Stavanger),
Bodil S. Krohn1
Estimated H-index: 1
There are many ways of understanding, assessing and managing the unforeseen and (potential) surprises. The dominating one is the risk approach, based on risk conceptualisation, risk assessment and risk management, but there are also others, and in this paper we focus on two; ideas from the quality discourse and the use of the concept of mindfulness as interpreted in the studies of High Reliability Organisation (HRO). The main aim of the paper is to present a new integrated perspective, a new way...
Published on Nov 1, 2012in Risk Analysis2.56
Elisabeth Paté-Cornell10
Estimated H-index: 10
Two images, "black swans" and "perfect storms," have struck the public's imagination and are used-at times indiscriminately-to describe the unthinkable or the extremely unlikely. These metaphors have been used as excuses to wait for an accident to happen before taking risk management measures, both in industry and government. These two images represent two distinct types of uncertainties (epistemic and aleatory). Existing statistics are often insufficient to support risk management because the s...
Published on Oct 1, 2012in Risk Analysis2.56
E.B. Abrahamsen and Terje Aven48
Estimated H-index: 48
(University of Stavanger),
Enrico Zio49
Estimated H-index: 49
(Polytechnic University of Milan)
This is a perspective article on foundational issues in risk assessment and management. The aim is to discuss the needs, obstacles, and challenges for the establishment of a renewed, strong scientific foundation for risk assessment and risk management suited for the current and future technological challenges. The focus is on (i) reviewing and discussing the present situation and (ii) identifying how to best proceed in the future, to develop the risk discipline in the directions needed. The arti...
Published on Oct 1, 2012in Risk Analysis2.56
Louis Anthony Cox20
Estimated H-index: 20
How can risk analysts help to improve policy and decision making when the correct probabilistic relation between alternative acts and their probable consequences is unknown? This practical challenge of risk management with model uncertainty arises in problems from preparing for climate change to managing emerging diseases to operating complex and hazardous facilities safely. We review constructive methods for robust and adaptive risk analysis under deep uncertainty. These methods are not yet as ...
Published on Mar 1, 2012in Reliability Engineering & System Safety4.04
E.B. Abrahamsen and Terje Aven48
Estimated H-index: 48
(University of Stavanger)
Abstract This paper reviews the definition and meaning of the concept of risk. The review has a historical and development trend perspective, also covering recent years. It is questioned if, and to what extent, it is possible to identify some underlying patterns in the way risk has been, and is being understood today. The analysis is based on a new categorisation of risk definitions and an assessment of these categories in relation to a set of critical issues, including how these risk definition...
Published on Jul 1, 2011in Human and Ecological Risk Assessment2.01
Adam M. Finkel10
Estimated H-index: 10
(UPenn: University of Pennsylvania)
Rethinking risk assessment as a method for helping to solve environmental problems, rather than (merely) understanding environmental hazards, may provide three major classes of benefits over the status quo. First, it can help break the endless cycle of analysis: when the goal is to know enough to decide, rather than to know everything, natural stopping points emerge. Secondly, it can lead to more true decisions about how to achieve risk reduction, rather than mere pronouncements about how much r...
Published on Jun 1, 2011in Philosophy & Technology
Neelke Doorn12
Estimated H-index: 12
(TU Delft: Delft University of Technology),
Sven Ove Hansson39
Estimated H-index: 39
(KTH: Royal Institute of Technology)
Safety is a concern in almost all branches of engineering. Whereas safety was traditionally introduced by applying safety factors or margins to the calculated maximum load, this approach is increasingly replaced with probabilistic risk assessment (PRA) as a tool for dimensioning safety measures. In this paper, the two approaches are compared in terms of what they aim at and what they can, in fact, achieve. The outcome of this comparison suggests that the two approaches should be seen as compleme...
Published on Jun 1, 2011in Philosophy & Technology
Sven Ove Hansson39
Estimated H-index: 39
(KTH: Royal Institute of Technology)
Available methods such as technology assessment and risk analysis have failed to predict the effects of technological choices. We need to give up the futile predictive ambitions of previous approaches and instead base decisions on systematic studies of alternative future developments. It will then be necessary to cope with mere possibility arguments, i.e., arguments in which a conclusion is drawn from a mere possibility that a course of action may have certain consequences. A five-step procedure...
Cited By37
Newest
Published on Sep 1, 2019in Reliability Engineering & System Safety4.04
E.B. Abrahamsen and Terje Aven48
Estimated H-index: 48
(University of Stavanger),
Marja Ylönen1
Estimated H-index: 1
(VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland)
Abstract Standards like ISO 31000 on risk management are increasingly influencing the risk and safety fields, despite rather strong criticism concerning their quality. In this paper, we perform a thorough discussion of the application of standards in the risk and safety fields, using ISO 31000 as a case to illustrate the argumentation. The aim is to structure and summarise some key knowledge on the role of such standards in the progress and practice of these fields. The discussion addresses the ...
Published on Feb 11, 2019in Risk Analysis2.56
Brian H. MacGillivray10
Estimated H-index: 10
Many philosophers and statisticians argue that risk assessors are morally obligated to evaluate the probabilities and consequences of methodological error, and to base their decisions of whether to adopt a given parameter value, model, or hypothesis on those considerations. This argument is couched within the rubric of null hypothesis testing, which I suggest is a poor descriptive and normative model for risk assessment. Risk regulation is not primarily concerned with evaluating the probability ...
Published on Jan 9, 2019in Risk Analysis2.56
Henrik Hassel8
Estimated H-index: 8
(Lund University),
Alexander Cedergren5
Estimated H-index: 5
(Lund University)
Public and private actors with critical roles for ensuring societal safety need to work proactively to reduce risks and vulnerabilities. Traditionally, risk management activities have often been performed in order to ensure continuous functioning of key societal services. Recently, however, business continuity management (BCM), and its analytical subcomponent business impact assessment (BIA), has been introduced and used more extensively by both the private and public sector in order to increase...
Published on Mar 6, 2019in Journal of Risk Research1.70
E.B. Abrahamsen and Terje Aven48
Estimated H-index: 48
(University of Stavanger),
Ortwin Renn50
Estimated H-index: 50
AbstractRisk governance has in recent years become a commonly used concept in relation to the understanding, assessment, management and communication of risk or risk problems, including so-called systemic risks. Substantial scientific work has been conducted to establish a proper foundation for this concept and its applications. Nonetheless, there are still some issues that remain to be clarified, for example how to best characterise risks and risk problems that need risk governance approaches. ...
Published on Mar 1, 2019in Risk Analysis2.56
Rani Lill Anjum8
Estimated H-index: 8
,
Elena Rocca4
Estimated H-index: 4
A question has been raised in recent years as to whether the risk field, including analysis, assessment, and management, ought to be considered a discipline on its own. As suggested by Terje Aven, unification of the risk field would require a common understanding of basic concepts, such as risk and probability; hence, more discussion is needed of what he calls “foundational issues.” In this article, we show that causation is a foundational issue of risk, and that a proper understanding of it is ...
Published on Feb 7, 2019
Igor Lutoshkin2
Estimated H-index: 2
(Ulyanovsk State University),
Svetlana Lipatova (Ulyanovsk State University)+ 2 AuthorsMargarita Yardaeva (Ulyanovsk State University)
The formalization of the principles “just in time”, “design to cost” and “risks management” is described in the form of a mathematical model. These principles are chosen on the basis of the analysis of the management methodologies used in the practice of industrial enterprises. The model is recommended to be used in the design of information systems to support management decisions. The model can be built on the basis of different methods: stochastic, parametric, heuristic, etc. The proposed appr...
Published on Jan 10, 2019in Journal of Risk Research1.70
E.B. Abrahamsen and Terje Aven48
Estimated H-index: 48
(University of Stavanger),
Anne Michiels van Kessenich
AbstractWork has recently been initiated to teach children and youths about risk and risk analysis, highlighting conceptual issues, risk assessment, risk communication, as well as risk management (decision-making). Using this work as a point of departure, this article provides a discussion of the foundation of this type of teaching: what do we wish to obtain, in short- and long-term perspectives, and what is the scientific risk analysis basis? Key pillars for the development of a scientific plat...
Published on Jan 1, 2019
Clemens Harten (TUHH: Hamburg University of Technology)
To better understand where and why errors happen in risk assessment, we propose a model of the risk assessment process as a distributed cognitive task for a group of agents. This model provides the foundation for an agent-based simulation that allows a systematic investigation of the risk assessment process in a controlled setting. Building on a perspective of sensemaking and cognition on risk analysis, we present a new approach to assess a whole class of group decision-making problems by buildi...
Published on Dec 7, 2018in Sustainability2.59
Antonio Nesticò10
Estimated H-index: 10
,
Shuquan He1
Estimated H-index: 1
+ 2 AuthorsGabriella Maselli1
Estimated H-index: 1
The process of allocating financial resources is extremely complex—both because the selection of investments depends on multiple, and interrelated, variables, and constraints that limit the eligibility domain of the solutions, and because the feasibility of projects is influenced by risk factors. In this sense, it is essential to develop economic evaluations on a probabilistic basis. Nevertheless, for the civil engineering sector, the literature emphasizes the centrality of risk management , in ...
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