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    Exercise two: risk perception

  • Choose one of the cases presented above in the Introduction to this module.
  • Describe those who fall into the public stakeholder group in this case. (See the above definition of "public")
  • Identify the key risks posed in your case..
  • Describe how the public is likely to perceive this risk in terms of the following: voluntariness, perceived benefits, control, unknown factors and dread factors.
  • Given this perception of the risk, is the public likely to find it acceptable?

    Exercise three: risk communication

  • You are a representative from one of the private business involved in the above case
  • Your job is to communicate to the public (whose risk perception you studied in exercise two) the risk assessment data you have collected on the project in question
  • Develop a strategy of communication that is based on (a) legitimate risk comparisons and analogies, (b) that is non-paternalistic, (c) that responds to the manner in which the public is likely to perceive the risk(s) in question, and (d) is open to compromise based on legitimate public interests and concerns.

    Exercise four (optional)

  • Carry out exercises two and three using either the Milagro Beanfield War town meeting or the union meeting from Silkwood .
  • Pretend you are Charlie Bloom and are charged with outlining the various risks that accompany the Devine Recreational Facility. The rest of the class, your audience, will play the role of the different stakeholders. These could include the (1) townspeople (owners of local businesses such as Ruby Archuleta's car body shop and the general store owner, Nick Real), (2) farmers (such as Joe Mondragon), (3) local and state law enforcement officers (such as Bernabe Montoya and Kyril Montona), (4) Ladd Devine Recreation Center employees (such as Horsethief Shorty who leads the construction crew), (5) local government officials (such as mayor Sammy Cantu) and state government officials (including the governor), and Ladd Devine himself.
  • Give a short presentation. Then respond to questions and commentaries from your classmates who are working with the different roles outlined above.
  • Take a vote on whether to go ahead with the Ladd Devine project.

What did you learn?

Business and risk

You are a Corporate Ethics Compliance Officer developing an ethics program for your organization. How should your program respond to the ethics of risk issues discussed in this module? How should your corporation go about identifying and communicating risk factors to employees? How should your corporation go about identifying and communicating risk factors to other stakeholders such as customers, local community, and government agencies?



  • Covello, V.T., Sandman, P.M. and Slovic, P. (1991) "Guidelines for Communicating Information About Chemical Risks Effectively and Responsibly," in Acceptable Evidence : 66-92.
  • Cranor, C.F. (1993) Regulating Toxic Substances: A Philosophy of Science and the Law . Oxford University Press: London.
  • Fingarette, H. (1971) Criminal Insanity . University of California Press, Berkeley, CA: 171.
  • Mayo, D.G., Hollander, R.D., Editors. (1991) Acceptable Evidence: Science and Values in Risk Management . Oxford University Press: London.
  • Mayo, D.G. (1991) "Sociological Versus Metascientific Views of Risk Assessment," in Acceptable Evidence . Oxford University Press: London: 249-280.
  • Slovic, P. (1991) "Beyond Numbers: A Broader Perspective on Risk Perception and Risk Communication," in Acceptable Evidence : 48-65.
  • Perrow, C. (1984) Normal Accidents: Living with high-risk technologies . Basic Books, NY,NY.
  • Reason, J. (1990/1999) Human Error Cambridge University Press: London.
  • Sagoff, M. (1985) Risk-Benefit Analysis in Decisions Concerning Public Safety and Health . Kendall/Hunt: Dubuque, Iowa.
  • Sagoff, M. The Economy of the Earth: Philosophy, Law, and the Environment . Cambridge University Press: London.
  • Sandel, M.J. (1982/1998) Liberalism and the Limits of Justice, 2nd Ed . Cambridge University Press, London.
  • Shrader-Frechette. (1991) "Reductionist Approaches to Risk," in Acceptable Risk . 218-248.
  • Thompson, P.B., (1999) "The Ethics of Truth-Telling and the Problem of Risk." Science and Engineering Ethics 5(4): 489-510.
  • "Glossary" Online Ethics Center for Engineering 1/31/2006 6:57:46 PM National Academy of Engineering Accessed: Saturday, December 27, 2008 www.onlineethics.org/CMS/glossary.aspx

This optional section contains additional or supplementary information related to this module. It could include: assessment, background such as supporting ethical theories and frameworks, technical information, discipline specific information, and references or links.

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Questions & Answers

are nano particles real
Missy Reply
Hello, if I study Physics teacher in bachelor, can I study Nanotechnology in master?
Lale Reply
no can't
where we get a research paper on Nano chemistry....?
Maira Reply
nanopartical of organic/inorganic / physical chemistry , pdf / thesis / review
what are the products of Nano chemistry?
Maira Reply
There are lots of products of nano chemistry... Like nano coatings.....carbon fiber.. And lots of others..
Even nanotechnology is pretty much all about chemistry... Its the chemistry on quantum or atomic level
no nanotechnology is also a part of physics and maths it requires angle formulas and some pressure regarding concepts
Preparation and Applications of Nanomaterial for Drug Delivery
Hafiz Reply
Application of nanotechnology in medicine
has a lot of application modern world
what is variations in raman spectra for nanomaterials
Jyoti Reply
ya I also want to know the raman spectra
I only see partial conversation and what's the question here!
Crow Reply
what about nanotechnology for water purification
RAW Reply
please someone correct me if I'm wrong but I think one can use nanoparticles, specially silver nanoparticles for water treatment.
yes that's correct
I think
Nasa has use it in the 60's, copper as water purification in the moon travel.
nanocopper obvius
what is the stm
Brian Reply
is there industrial application of fullrenes. What is the method to prepare fullrene on large scale.?
industrial application...? mmm I think on the medical side as drug carrier, but you should go deeper on your research, I may be wrong
How we are making nano material?
what is a peer
What is meant by 'nano scale'?
What is STMs full form?
scanning tunneling microscope
how nano science is used for hydrophobicity
Do u think that Graphene and Fullrene fiber can be used to make Air Plane body structure the lightest and strongest. Rafiq
what is differents between GO and RGO?
what is simplest way to understand the applications of nano robots used to detect the cancer affected cell of human body.? How this robot is carried to required site of body cell.? what will be the carrier material and how can be detected that correct delivery of drug is done Rafiq
analytical skills graphene is prepared to kill any type viruses .
Any one who tell me about Preparation and application of Nanomaterial for drug Delivery
what is Nano technology ?
Bob Reply
write examples of Nano molecule?
The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
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