"nssl0335" (CC BY 2.0) by NOAA Photo Library

Clearing Up the Concept of Risk Assessment

August 8, 2019

How well do you think you can assess risk? The evidence is clear that humans are innately poor at assessing risk in our personal lives, in part due to how our brains are wired, and that can make it challenging to make informed decisions about everything from vaccines and medicines to diet and children’s safety. Errors in risk perception can be a problem when we worry more than the evidence says we need to, or less than the evidence says we should.

On this week’s episode, Kavin Senapathy speaks with neuroscientist Alison Bernstein and biologist Iida Ruishalme, who teamed up to write a series of articles titled “Risk In Perspective.” The interview takes listeners through key concepts in risk and risk perception, including the difference between hazard and risk, and whether zero risk is ever really possible. How can putting risk into perspective inform regulatory actions? How does environmental justice tie into health and risk perception? How are marketers taking advantage of our inability to accurately assess risk? One thing is clear—you won’t want to risk missing out on this conversation.

You can find Alison on Facebook: Mommy, PhD, and Iida on Facebook: Thoughtscapism.

Read the Risk in Perspective series.

Read Iida’s piece detailing radiation and cancer risk.

Read Alison’s piece on how “Safety” is defined in a regulatory setting.

What was that great music you heard?

“Wahre” by Blue Dot Sessions / CC BY-NC 4.0

“Building the Sled” by Blue Dot Sessions / CC BY-NC 4.0

“Vittoro” by Blue Dot Sessions / CC BY-NC 4.0

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