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Society For Risk Analysis Annual Meeting 2008

Risk Analysis: the Science and the Art

Session Schedule & Abstracts

* Disclaimer: All presentations represent the views of the authors, and not the organizations that support their research. Please apply the standard disclaimer that any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations in abstracts, posters, and presentations at the meeting are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of any other organization or agency. Meeting attendees and authors should be aware that this disclaimer is intended to apply to all abstracts contained in this document. Authors who wish to emphasize this disclaimer should do so in their presentation or poster. In an effort to make the abstracts as concise as possible and easy for meeting participants to read, the abstracts have been formatted such that they exclude references to papers, affiliations, and/or funding sources. Authors who wish to provide attendees with this information should do so in their presentation or poster.

Common abbreviations

Making Sense of Sustainable Energy Sources, Part II

Room: Grand Ballroom C   4:00-5:30 PM

Chair(s): Tom Horlick-Jones

W4-A.1  16:00  Household Energy Behavior Change and Consumers' Considerations. Johnson BB*, Vercellotti T, Bunzl M; Rutgers University; Western New England College

Abstract: Several behavior change theories (e.g., Precaution Adoption Process Model, Theory of Planned Behavior, Value-Beliefs-Norms Model) suggest perceived good and bad consequences of proposed behaviors influence people's intentions to change. We examine the role of these considerations and tradeoffs in household-level energy conservation and renewable energy behaviors.

W4-A.2  16:20  Engaging with the public around renewable energy technologies in the UK . Barnett J*, Burningham K, Walker G, Devine-Wright P; University of Surrey

Abstract: Current and future trajectories of different energy technologies may reflect the ways in which key actors have engaged with the public. Certainly this notion has become embodied in a range of requirements for public engagement that are enshrined in planning and development processes. Drawing on interviews with actors within the institutional framework of energy socio-technical systems, who are involved with the development and marketing of different renewable energy technologies in the UK, this paper explores the ways in which engagement with the public is constructed. We identify the perceived functions of engagement and how these relate to the preferred mechanisms for engaging with the public. More specifically we examine the relationships that are revealed between the characteristics of the public and the potential of engagement processes. We suggest both that the ways in which ‘the public’ and their views about RET are conceived may have implications for the nature and range of public engagement strategies that are advocated; and also that the mode of engagement chosen may reinforce certain constructions of the public.

W4-A.3  16:40  Designing sustainable energy policies in the light of climate change: The tri-energy public consultation program in Switzerland. Renn O.*; University of Stuttgart, Germany   

Abstract: The paper describes an approach to use analytic-deliberative methods for designing energy policies in Switzerland. The deliberation process is structured around on a multi-criteria decision aid that was developed by a research consortium consisting of several universities, consulting companies and the second largest Swiss electricity utility (Axpo). Our part was to develop the social indicators and to facilitate the deliberation process. A total of four deliberative workshops with representatives from national stakeholder groups was conducted in the fall of 2008 as a means to get policy recommendations for sustainable energy policies. The paper will describe the process, the satisfaction and subjective impressions of the participants concerning the process and its results as well as the policy-related outcomes of the deliberation.

W4-A.4  17:00  Understanding the institutional logic and practice in risk communication: A communicative turn on social perception of technology. Farré J*, Gonzalo J, Espluga J, Prades A, Oltra C; Communication department University Rovira i Virgili (Tarragona, Spain)

Abstract: When investigating ‘lay perceptions’ the concept of communication has been often used in an instrumental or secondary way, or focusing specifically on media and their potential effects. Furthermore, the building of middle-range communitative theoretical models becomes very useful to understand lay perceptions, public engagement processes as well as to propose ways to link different contexts and technological scenarios in a comparative logic. In this sense, we propose a theoretical framework which emphasise trust, governance or risk perception as a communicative whole, bringing out the complex interdependencies among social agents and the way they manage it from a communicative approach. The exploration of a wide communicative model allows to understand the complexity of technological and industrial risk management process, a process where the inside social agents are impelled to take partial decisions knowing little of the whole interactions. The proposed model implies a sort of map allowing to analyse the social agents and their mutual relationships and interdependencies, in a kind of communicative twist that shows how the isolating parts become incomprehensible out of the general process. In order to do this, empirical evidences has been obtained thanks to the deployment of two funding projects by the Spanish Science and Education Ministry (SEJ2004-00892 and SEJ2007-63095) about Risk Communication Process at Tarragona’s Petrochemical Cluster, one of the largest chemical clusters in Southern Europe. The implementation of this communicative model to the analysis of the social responses to petrochemical technology can provide useful lessons for the study of lay perceptions and citizen engagement in new energy technologies.

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