World Congress on Risk 2015
19-23 July, 2015, Singapore

Online Program

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

Tuesday 21-07-2015

Tuesday Poster Platform - Risk Perception and Communication

Room: 3rd Floor Foyer   15:30–17:00

1    “Evoking Image” Factor for Public Risk Perception of Radioactive Substances in Food. Yoko Niiyama, Kyoto University; Yayoi Kito, Kyoto University; Haruyo Kudo, Kyoto Univesity (249)

Abstract: In face of the contamination by the radioactive substances derived from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant disaster in March 2011, many people were anxious over the health effects. People psychologically evaluate their health risks. We conducted internet surveys about public risk perception of the health effects via food using a psychological approach in Tokyo and Kyoto from May 2011 until February 2012, and estimated a structural model of risk perception emplying a Structural Equation Modeling. Factor of “media coverage” impacts the generation of “evoking image” of negative effects. The “evoking image” significantly influences perceived “severity of the health effects” and “magnitude of risk”. On the other hand, “trust in government regulatory measures” strongly affects the factor “the risk will be lower below a certain dose”. Although these factors decrease the level of perceived risk, their impacts are only minimal. A key point is that the magnitude of risk is mainly perceived through “evoking image” and no recognition channel via “knowledge” can be found. Thus, public relies on association-based information processing. Based on the above, this study aimed to survey the “evoking image” of serious health effects. What is the image that people have? When was the image formed? What was the image made by? Therefore we conducted three focus group surveys in Tokyo area from February to Jun 2014 and, as a result, found the following things. After the Fukushima disaster, public associated the serious images of health risk obtained in the past from news or graphics of the atomic bombings in Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the Chernobyl accident. Expanding upon these, they assessed serious deterministic effects such as deformity, genetic effect, or death. In some cases, these images were linked with individuals’ fear experiences. Thus, it is difficult for the public to assess probabilistic events of risk.

2    Bioethics importance for the posed intensive agriculture risks. ARRIAGA AE, Biotechnology Institute /UNAM (102)

Abstract: Agricultural production involves potential hazards for producers, consumers, and the environment. These risks are becoming increasingly apparent as a result of the debate on the release of genetically modified crops “GMOs”, which has been subjected to a process of risk assessment, for the first time; although there are serious doubts about the scientific basis for the environmental risk assessment “ERA”, as well crop safety “CS”. Another problem is that GMOs must be compared with the conventional crops, which have had a "safe use history", which does not mean that they have been subjected to safety tests. Other problem is that the comparison is restricted to the seeds, and production system (based industrialized monoculture production) is justified on the increasing demand for food, feed and biofuels and other bio-materials. Agriculture has been the first human revolution, but even when its intensification (with the use of tools agricultural practices, and crop breeding, and pesticide applications) has been fundamental for human population growth, today agriculture is part of different risks, such as population concentration in big cities, and this tendency increases risks (the epidemics transmission, floods, number of deaths from earthquakes, and food dependence). Even when industrial agriculture is one of the most polluting activities, the possibilities for coming back to local production are reduced, among other things because developing countries have not access to technology, transparency in regulations, and international commercialization transactions are driven not only by efficiency, but also by subsidies to agriculture. For those reasons bioethical elements should be included in agricultural risk assessment, production, marketing and crop consumption, on which stakeholders must develop a new behavior, based on principles such as voluntary restraint, responsibility and respect for the greatest humanity good: the Earth.

3    Public perception on heat-related health risk in Beijing, China. Li T, China CDC; Ban J, China CDC (145)

Abstract: Extreme heat weather, which has been demonstrated to have negative impacts on public health, becomes more frequent in Beijing, China. Health protective strategy is needed. Although objective results of epidemiological studies could identify physically-sensitive groups suffering a high risk level, study on public risk perception from subjective perspective is also of great importance in public health field, because personal judgment on risk is the strongest motivator of individual health behavior change. Therefore it is critical to understand individual’s perceived risk during the process of climate change adaptation. To indicate individual’s perceived risks and identified vulnerable groups in heat wave, this study initially adopted public perception to public health from a subjective perspective. Based on psychometric paradigm method, public perception of heat related health risk was investigated by the face to face survey in the urban and suburban areas, from July, 2013 to August, 2013. Approximately 1,290 residents were selected as respondents by multi-step stratified random sampling process. Descriptive statistical analysis and multiple linear regression analysis were then used to explore the influencing factors of local public risk perception. Descriptive statistical results showed the public have already perceived the severity of extreme weather, indicating the need for public health intervention. But their perceptions of heat-related risk varied between urban and suburban areas. Thus different intervention policies should be designed and promoted in different region. Regression models suggested that besides the basic demographic impact factors, the impact of exposure factors and vulnerable factors on public risk perception were even more significant. Thus reduction of exposure and vulnerability should be more concerned to help vulnerable groups in greater need. This study could provide innovative information for the current public health system.

4    Understanding individual risk perception on haze and relative behavior change in Nanjing, China. Ban J, China CDC; Li T, China CDC (144)

Abstract: Ambient air pollution has increased its frequency, intensity, duration and spatial extent in China. Especially, haze caused by find particle pollution (PM2.5) has led to huge extra morbidity and mortality due to high exposure level. Serious haze pollution will surely demand health intervention and adaptive actions to reduce the negative health effects. Under this situation, it is of great importance to understand individual’s awareness of haze related health risk and their change on adaptive behavior. However, too little attention has been paid to the psychological factors that highly determine the behavior change. In our study, public perception on haze related health risk and their current behavior mode were investigated by the face to face survey in different areas in Nanjing. Questionnaire was designed based on psychometric paradigm method and innovatively improved to connect risk perception with questions measuring changes of different behaviors. About 1140 answers of local residents were finally collected. Descriptive statistical analysis and multiple linear regression analysis were then used to indicate the individual perception on relative risk and their behavior mode, as well as the relationship between them. Results suggested that individuals have highly perceived the haze related risk. They presented strong awareness of haze pollution and its negative health effects. On the other hand, individuals have already become to change their behaviors to protect themselves. But changing levels varied in different behaviors, different population and different areas. In addition, what information individuals concerned about and the way they accessed to relative information were also changed. It is worth mentioning that there is significant correlation between risk perception level and possibility of behavior change. These conclusions may be very helpful to provide detailed information as reference for public health intervention policies.

5    Understanding flood and climate change risk perceptions in coastal and delta communities in Vietnam. Ngo C. C., Asian Management and Development Insitite; Poortvliet M. P., Wageningen University; Feindt P. H., Wageningen University (181)

Abstract: While climate change has been widely recognised as a long term driver of increasing natural hazards, practical understanding of the required coordinated adaptation responses by various stakeholders is only emerging. Scientists and practitioners argue that though local people are often familiar with natural hazards (e.g. flood), they are less aware of risks associated with changing climate, impeding necessary mitigation and adaptation actions. The 4th IPCC assessment report triggered greater interest in space-specific climate change adaptation. Improved and shared awareness of potential risks will be important for effective adaptation at collective and private levels. But knowledge about the factors for climate risk perception and adaptive responses is limited. This paper explores perception of people in the most susceptible areas to climate change impacts in Vietnam. We examine factors that may have influential effect on perception to design an effective risk communication model. Data was collected among over a thousand households in three cities to explore their people’s perceptions of vulnerability of flood and climate change risks, impact severity and adaptive capacity. Key findings indicated that pair-wised analysis results for various demographic and socio-economic factors are significantly associated to perception of flood and climate change risks. However, after control these factors using multivariate analysis, only flood experience, city of residence and community participation are influential factors that predict their perception of risks and intention to take actions to reduce potential impacts. Though flood risk perception has a positive impact on climate change risk perception, it does not have a positive impact on the adaptive capacity for climate change. Still, the people who prepare for flood risk could also comprehend climate change risk, vulnerability, impact severity and adaptive capacity. Implications for effective risk communication of natural hazards in the Vietnamese context will be discussed.

6    Risk and solutions of climate change in West Africa: Analysis of framing trends in media. Tsai J, Center for Strategic Communication, Hugh Downs School of Human Communication, Arizona State University; Corman S, Center for Strategic Communication, Hugh Downs School of Human Communication, Arizona State University (294)

Abstract: Developing countries like West Africa face a growing challenge as climate change has caused serious threats to economic growth, losses of property, human displacement and crop failures. Despite a recent proliferation of research examining how media representation of climate change shapes policy debates and public opinion, the scholarship is still biased toward Western discourse with a relatively dismissive view toward its causes, existence, and impacts. Relying on Benford and Snow’s (2000) collective action frames for social movements, this study develops a comprehensive scheme to investigate how online news and social media (twitter) in West Africa frame political and social dimensions of climate change, its impacts, and mitigation efforts. Specifically, we distinguish four classes of climate change discourse – cause, threat, solution and motivation. Content analysis of 1,071 English news articles shows dominance of solution frame (38.2%) and threat frame (35.2%). Within the solution frame, discourse largely emphasizes creation and implementation of policy and programs proposed by government or NGOs to tackle climate challenge, build local farmers’ capacity, and thereby enhance resilience. Threats of climate change to food security, human health conditions, and environmental systems are prevalent in media coverage. In stark contrast to discourse in the West, few articles (16.8%) debate its causes, focusing more on blaming human activity than on scientific uncertainty. Motivational frames are very uncommon. Together, we broaden the scope of public discourses of climate change by validating the four-class scheme. Impacts and solutions of climate change are more complex in developing countries than in developed ones. Specifically, imbalanced framing of climate change in West African media might be ineffective in propelling a successful social movement. The four-class scheme provides a practical framework for policy makers in promoting a sustainable movement.

7    Risk: from Solid to Liquid. Carter David, University of Canberra (344)

Abstract: Risk management has become a topic of international relevance after several crises and consequential adjustments that arose in the attempt to stop them. However, the concept of ‘risk’ has always been problematic, so its management. This paper aims to investigate how paradigmatic positions might have influenced in practical problems related with the implementation of this management tool. We carried out a critical analysis of paradigmatic perspective as well as the epistemological and ontological positions adopted in risk and risk management’s literature. We examined contributions and limitations that paradigms, such as positivism and constructionism, have led to this research topic and possible advantages derived from a post-structuralism approach to future researches and the practices of risk management. We observed that the regulatory and financial concept of risk ignores much of the complexity and dynamics present in decision-making processes related with uncertain futures. Thus, this research shows alternatives that could be explored in the implementation and development of this management considering specificities of organisational contexts.

8    Integrated technology readiness and risks assessment: a new tool for Innovation Managers. Auerkari P.    (85)

Abstract: Technology maturity/readiness assessment is the first avenue that engineers and program managers use to make critical decisions about the likelihood that a technology can be successfully exploited. Technology Readiness Level (TRL), formerly developed at NASA, is now widely accepted by several organizations, including the European Commission. However, many authors have recognized some important limitations of the TRL: -TRL provides a subjective assessment of maturity, but there is a lack of standard guidelines for implementation -TRL metric does not address uncertainty in technology development and limits to evaluate the “actual” degree of maturity but not the residual risks -TRL captures only the technical readiness but economic performance and environmental sustainability are not considered In order to overcome with the above limitations it is proposed to apply in a R&D project the approach called Technology Readiness and Risk Assessment (TRRA). The R&D project is the FP7-HELM project which aims to investigate advanced processing technologies based on high-frequency electromagnetic fields for processing of Ceramic Matrix Composites. The TRRA approach that will be applied in the project integrates TRLs and Risk Assessment Matrix. TRRA expands the standard risk matrix by incorporating TRLs, R&D3 (Research and Development Degree of Difficulty/Likelihood of success), and TNV (Technology Need Value). TRRA allows a more consistent and analytical based assessment of the technology readiness and risks in a given technological portfolio, however this approach only exists as a concept and no specific methodology has been developed. This study will conclude in providing to the European Comission with a specific tool and a proven methodology that can be used by the Innovation Managers for an integrated technology readiness and risk assessments. This will contribute to the standardization of practices in measurement readiness on new technologies including the aspects of safety and environment.

9    Incorporating Social Determinants into Risk Assessments to Enhance Children’s Environmental Health. Beasley A., Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health fellow at the U.S. EPA Office of Children's Health Protection, Washington, D.C.; Fann N., United States Environmental Protection Agency; Merse C., United States Environmental Protection Agency; Brown M., United States Environmental Protection Agency (336)

Abstract: Introduction: Air pollution risk assessments are beginning to include social variables such as income and education, addressing not only specific pollutants, but also inequities in their distribution. These approaches enable targeted interventions that enhance health equity, cost-effectiveness, and overall population health. However, few explicitly address children, even though early-life exposures profoundly affect health into adulthood and thus necessitate early intervention and protective standards. Additionally, translating risk assessment results to policy options remains challenging. Methods: We first explore how the literature has operationalized two terms related to addressing risk inequities: “social determinants” and “environmental justice.” We attempt to reconcile these terms in a way that promotes health equity across the life course by presenting options for explicitly incorporating children’s health and social variables into ozone risk research and policy. Our case-study analysis of a risk-based approach to air pollution that incorporates social variables informs these options. Results: Our analysis illustrates the potential of a socially mediated, children’s health based approach to risk to inform broader environmental regulations, such as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for ozone. Our recommendations include 1) adopting a life-course approach to risk inequities 2) using qualitative and quantitative local-level data about socially mediated children’s health risk factors to inform environmental regulations, and 3) developing clear, consistent messages about social variables influencing risk. Conclusion: Risk assessments that incorporate social variables and specifically address children’s health may enhance scientific evidence and political support for stronger, more equitable air pollution policies and standards that protect health throughout the life course.

10    Early warnings for extreme risks: when are they feasible? When are they useful? Paltrinieri N.    (77)

Abstract: Sirens that warn of an impending tsunami, hurricane tracking centers, the Integ-Risk Risk Radar: warning systems are a key component of efforts to prevent and ameliorate many hazards. Among such hazards, we can distinguish extreme risks as those that threaten to overwhelm protections and response systems including warning systems. An event may come as a complete surprise; or a warning may not succeed in preventing harm. Yet even among catastrophic possibilities, some can be more or less likely and have more or less catastrophic consequences. Thus it is worthwhile to consider what can be accomplished with warnings even when predictive capabilities are limited and so are capabilities for prevention and reducing harm. The design of a useful warning system must match critical characteristics of the hazards considered: time scales fast or slow, spatial scales, the nature of the affected population, the institutions involved with their histories and mandates, public awareness and public perceptions of the risks, the state of scientific knowledge and uncertainty, and potential links with other hazards. But a key aspect of warning system design applies generally across a broad spectrum of hazards. A salient observation was made by Gilbert White 70 years ago: \"Floods are an act of God, but flood losses are largely an act of man.\" Even a rapid survey of catastrophes over the years shows that complacency within responsible institutions has been a major contributor to the losses experienced in many different extreme events. A critical challenge for the Integ-Risk Risk Radar and for any other warning system is to discourage complacency and, instead, to foster a culture of vigilance within the institutions that use it.

11    Social amplification of risk and media literacy. AOYAGI Midori, National Institute for Environmental Studies (141)

Abstract: In communicating risk issues with general public, people’s media use is also important for understanding risk. We think those abilities as “media literacy”, defined as the ability to access, analyze, evaluate and use various media. We focus on this media literacy in this paper and using nationally representative data, we discuss the importance of media literacy in the risk governance. We carried out national representative survey from 20 to 74 years old adults Japanese in February 2013. Effective responses were 1,121. Using those data, we analyzed people’s media exposure and literacy in risk issues. Our results are as follows. 1) Usage of the Internet: about 20% of our respondents did not use Internet. 53% used internet via personal computers. Some respondents use multiple equipment. 2) Information sources for the daily news including risk issues: 91.5% of our respondents chose television program, 75.0% did newspaper (printed), while 10.8% did on-line news-site including newspapers. 3) Most trusted information source was “journalists”(55%). The next was “professors/ experts” (25.6%), “national government” (24.1%), “Environmental-NGOs”(22.7%). 4) We had three knowledge quizzes concerning the science of radioactivity. Respondents who trust on “individuals’ homepages” or “blogs by non-experts” and environmental NGOs were more likely to choose wrong options than other sources. 5) We asked our respondents whether they chose food from possible radioactive contaminated regions. Number of correct answers for our three quizzes was not significant variables for the purchase behavior. Rather, anxiety for future health effect was one of the significant variables. Also, Anxiety level is closely related to the information sources.

12    Risk perception and communication on automated driving system. SHIBATA K, Chiba Institute of Technology; NAKAJIMA T, Chiba Institute of Technology (318)

Abstract: An automated driving system is one of the promising technologies. It is expected to give us variety of benefits, such as reduction of traffic accidents, mitigation of traffic jams, support of the mobility for the elderlies, etc. Especially, because human error is a major cause of the accident, the risk reduction in traffic accident is very attractive. According to our preliminary study, the public seem to supporting the development of the automated driving system. They identify little unknown or dread factors, comparing other emerging technologies, because automobile is a familiar technology for them. On the other hand, several serious risks have been pointed out, such as collapse of controlling system by hacking or usage as a soldier-less weapon for terrorism. Furthermore it may result in moral hazard in public transportation and technical skill development. Traditionally civil technologies have been developed step by step with unlucky accidents. There is no perfect technology. Technology is developed in the different direction to original intention. It is not well understood that this kind of technology, which is used massively, may unawarely cause significant and serious undesired transformation of the society. The possible approached to control such risk proactively will be discussed, based on the people’s perception and nature of the risk with emerging technologies.

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