We are pleased to announce the 71st Sogo Bosai Seminar (April 13) as follows. We look forward to your kind participation.
Seminar will be delivered in English.
Some implications of the social amplification of risk framework (SARF) for disaster risk management
Prof. Rob Goble, Research Professor of Environmental Science and Policy
George Perkins Marsh Institute, Clark University, Worcester, Massachusetts, USA
April 13, 15:00-16:30
[Venue & Registration]
Seminar will be held in the hybrid manner (virtual and face-to-face). The venue: S519D, DPRI, Uji campus, Kyoto University.
Please kindly register your attendance here by April 12, noon.
The social amplification of risk framework (SARF) was put forward 35 years ago. It was explicitly presented as a framework, not a theory; its goal was to bring together social science research on perceptions of risk, communication of risk, behavioral responses to perceptions and communications, and to consider how that combination of factors can affect risks and can be included in risk analyses. SARF was a success in achieving the first part of its goal: perceptions, communication, and behavioral response used to live in separate conceptual silos, but now social science relating to risk integrates these concepts. Respecting the second part, while the risk community is now generally aware that social factors change risks, these effects are still not part of standard, technical risk analyses.
Thirty-five years is a long time. In my view and that of many colleagues, an update of the framework and a rethinking of its goals is long past due. The nature of communications has changed markedly and much has been learned through integrative work. The initial limited goals for SARF were appropriate for that time, but while we still can’t expect a full-blown social amplification theory, now is a good time to look for ways that an updated framework might be applied. A group of us are now working together on a rethinking and an update.
Disasters are an arena where social factors can have a strong impact – affecting disaster preparations, affecting the response during a disaster, and affecting recovery. I will describe some potential applications of SARF to risk management for pandemics and suggest some possibilities worth exploring for other disasters. I hope this will lead to a vigorous and productive discussion.
Kasperson, R. E., Renn, O., Slovic, P., Brown, H. S., Emel, J., Goble, R., Kasperson, J. X., & Ratick, S. (1988). The social amplification of risk. Risk Analysis, 8(2), 177–189. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1539-6924.1988.tb01168.x
Larson, H. J., Lin, L., & Goble, R. (2022). Vaccines and the social amplification of risk. Risk Analysis 42(7), 1409-1422
Rob Goble is Research Professor of Environmental Science and Policy in the George Perkins Marsh Institute, Clark University’s interdisciplinary research center concerned with human-environment interactions. He served as director of the institute from 2006 through 2008. Professor Goble was educated as a physicist (B.A. with honors in physics, Swarthmore College 1962; Ph.D. in Physics, the University of Wisconsin 1967). He then worked in theoretical high energy particle physics at Yale University, the Universities of Minnesota and Utah, and Montana State University. He joined the faculty of Clark University in 1976 with new interests in technology assessment and in risks and hazards. His research has ventured into such topics as air pollution, energy systems (small and large), climate change, toxic chemical risks, occupational health, disease risk, radiation hazards, emergency planning for nuclear accidents, and risk perspectives in international development. His concern for environmental justice has led to sustained community-based work with Native American communities exposed to chemical and radiation hazards and with urban neighborhoods in Worcester. Themes that link these efforts are understanding the implications of variability in people’s sensitivity to toxic exposures, variability in people’s responses to hazards, and in understanding the various ways in which people and institutions cope with uncertainty. Professor Goble’s current research continues following these themes with a focus on systemic risks, especially the human side of systemic risks. Two examples are i) a concern with how implementation works or fails to work for projects and policies; ii) efforts at updating and applying the social amplification of risk framework. Professor Goble believes that interdisciplinary research is the wave of the future and that collaboration is the path for advancing it.
Professor Goble’s research has been funded by a variety of National and International entities, and by private foundations. He has served on advisory panels for the United Nations, for the National Academy of Sciences, and the U.S. EPA Science Advisory Board, Committee on Exposures and Human Health. He also served on the science advisory board for the Integ-Risk Project in Germany and for the Vaccine Confidence project at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and has served on several community advisory boards monitoring local scientific studies. Professor Goble’s particular concern in these advisory forums has been improving communication and understanding between scientists and diverse stakeholders with diverse concerns. He is a member of IDRiM and the AAAS, and is a Fellow of the Society for Risk Analysis.