Menu

Javascript is not activated in your browser. This website needs javascript activated to work properly.
You are here

Differences in the strengths of evidence matters in risk–risk trade-offs

Author:
  • Ullrika Sahlin
  • Maj Rundlöf
Publishing year: 2016-05-08
Language: English
Pages: 1-7
Publication/Series: Journal of Risk Research
Document type: Journal article
Publisher: Routledge

Abstract english

Making decisions between alternatives are challenging when there is weak or unreliable knowledge about the risks and benefits of the alternatives. This requires a trade-off between risks (and benefits). Here, we comment on a recent paper on risk–risk trade-offs and highlight the difficulties of making such trade-offs when the available evidence is of different strength. One current example of a risk–risk trade-off under weak evidence is the restriction and reevaluation of the risks of neonicotinoid insecticides to bees conducted by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). We argue that a risk–risk trade-off is essential in this context. Although considerable research efforts have been focused at determining the risks of neonicotinoids to bees, the evidence base is still limited. However, focus on strengthening evidence on impacts of one substance may lead policy-makers and public to believe that its substitutes are less harmful, when in fact evidence is weak on the impacts of these substitutes as well. We argue that a broader management of uncertainty is needed and that the difference in uncertainty underlying evidence of risk for different alternatives needs to be communicated to policy-makers. We suggest that this can be done, for example, using measures of uncertainty, which take into account strength in evidence, and combine these with principles to guide decision-making.

Keywords

  • Environmental Sciences
  • Other Social Sciences not elsewhere specified
  • decision-making
  • evidence
  • neonicotinoids
  • risk–risk trade-offs
  • uncertainty

Other

Epub
  • ISSN: 1366-9877
Ullrika Sahlin in Lundagård
E-mail: ullrika.sahlin [at] cec.lu.se

Researcher

Centre for Environmental and Climate Research (CEC)

+46 46 222 68 31

+46 73 827 44 32

E-D340

50

Read more on the blog

The 3rd Nordic Chapter Risk conference in Finland – Call for abstracts

2017-07-13
The Nordic Chapter of the Society for Risk Analysis (SRA) invites abstracts to the 3rd conference which will be held at Aalto University, Es…

The Bayes@ concept

2017-06-28
Bayes@: Approachable mini conferences on applied Bayesian statistics A Bayes@ mini-conference is a (more or less) local one day event bring …

Seminar Sept 19th

2017-06-27
On Sept 19th 2017 between 15 and 17 the BECC action group: Evidence relying on simulation models and expert judgment is arranging a seminar …

Centre for Environmental and Climate Research, CEC

Sölvegatan 37
223 62 Lund, Sweden

Visiting address
The Ecology building, Sölvegatan 37, Lund