Summary of presentation for CRIMS (Canadian Risk and Insurance Management Society) conference, Calgary, 17-20 September 2006.
It is important to be clear about the type of risk you are dealing with. Directly perceptible risks are dealt with instinctively and intuitively. Virtual risks are culturally constructed – when the science is inconclusive people are liberated to argue from pre-established beliefs, convictions & prejudices. When virtual risks – sometimes called unconfirmed hypotheses – get mistaken for risks about which science has clear and useful advice to offer, much confusion results.
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