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SRA Conference in Lund: Discover Risk Research

Människor som står i smågrupper och pratar, inomhus. Foto.
From 18 to 21 June 2023, Lund University will host the international meeting of the Society for Risk Analysis Europe.

The world is changing; we have experienced societal disruption due to global hazards such as pandemics and climate change. Environments or institutions that were taken for granted are suddenly at risk, forcing us to consider new risks that require careful development of concepts and theories, as well as novel approaches to assessment. 
This is the theme of the upcoming international conference SRA Europe 2023 in June, hosted by CEC and the Department of Philosophy at Lund University.

From 18 to 21 June 2023, Lund University will host the 31st annual meeting of the Society for Risk Analysis Europe.

"I attended my first SRA Europe conference as a PhD student and was fascinated by the mix of different disciplines, so now it is time to give something back," says Ullrika Sahlin, researcher at CEC and chair of the conference. 

The Society for Risk Analysis is the largest international risk research organisation in the world and provides an open forum for all those interested in risk analysis.

Interface between science and policy

"Risk research is highly relevant at the interface between science and policy, and we want more researchers to discover this interdisciplinary field," she says. 

Put simply, risk is about what we know, what we don't know, and what we can, should, or are doing about things that might have a bad or good impact on things that matter. Ullrika Sahlin adds that to be useful you need to understand scientific results about risk communication, even if you are working with risk assessment. 

The SRA's diverse membership makes it a relevant scientific forum for interdisciplinary discussion of key issues in risk analysis, risk research and how risk theory can support communication, perception, assessment, decision-making and governance in our societies. “You can gain a lot of experience and understanding by participating in topics that are a little outside your core discipline.” 

This year's conference has a strong focus on lessons learned from the pandemic and how to be better prepared for the next time. It starts with a keynote from Baruch Fischhoff, Carnegie Mellon University, on pandemic possibilities.

Information and disinformation

In addition, the conference focus on the flow of information and disinformation, the urge to deal with complex and uncertain problems, and the desire for quality and transparency in science-to-policy processes are challenging the knowledge, skills and expertise required for risk assessment, management and governance.   

“We wanted to illustrate the theme of the conference by setting up a nice set of talks and discussions related to climate change and sustainability”, says Alexander Tagesson, student chair of the conference.

In risk research, foundational topics are as important as applied ones. Henrik Thorén, co-chair of the conference, has experiences that dealing with knowledge in practice puts a lot of demands on you as a scientist. It requires you to be independent with strong scientific literacy as well as being aware of how knowledge can be used and misused. The conference illustrates this by ending with a keynote by Åsa Wikforss, Stockholm University, on Knowledge Resistance in a time of Crisis.