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  Uncertainty and Precaution in Environmental Management: insights from the UPEM conference  Popular
Description: Jeroen van der Sluijs: Uncertainty and Precaution in Environmental Management: insights from the UPEM conference
Communication across the science-policy interface is complicated by uncertainty and ignorance associated with predictions on which to base policies. The international symposium “Uncertainty and Precaution in Environmental Management” (UPEM) addressed the philosophy, approaches and scientific tools associated with the analysis and communication of uncertainty and ignorance to decisions makers in relation to the Precautionary Principle. This paper presents a sample of highlights and insights of UPEM of relevance to the environmental modeling communities. Key insights include: (1) Systematic long-term monitoring and learning are essential. (2) More attention is needed for model structure uncertainty and equifinality. (3) Explicit value articulation in environmental assessment is essential. (4) Sophisticated uncertainty assessment and Quality Assurance methods - such as the Walker&Harremoes et al. conceptual uncertainty framework, NUSAP, and codes of uncertainty-explicit modeling practice from RIVM and EPA -, are now available and on their way of becoming main stream. (5) There is a wide range of precautionary interventions (a ban is not the only option). (6) Legal and Ethical dimensions of precaution – such as liability, burden of proof, inter- and intra generational equity - require more thought. (7) The problems that developing countries face in implementing the Precautionary Principle need more attention.
Version: Oct 2004 Filesize: 351.88 Kb
Added on: 20-Oct-2004 Downloads: 48113 HomePage
Category: papers

  Decision-making under uncertainty: Is there any other kind?  Popular
Description: Decision-making under uncertainty: Is there any other kind?
Presentation by Naomi Oreskes in the Break-out session "Uncertainty, assumptions and value commitments in environemental assessment" at the Internatational workshop Interfaces between Science and Society, Milano, 27-28 November 2003.
Version: 24-11-2003 Filesize: 81.05 Kb
Added on: 01-Dec-2003 Downloads: 20537
Category: Lectures and poster presentations

  Expert Elicitation: Methodological suggestions for its use in environmental health impact assessment  Popular
Description: Expert Elicitation: Methodological suggestions for its use in environmental health impact assessments
This document contains three parts: (1) an introduction, (2) an overview with building blocks and methodological suggestions for a formal expert elicitation procedure; and (3) a literature list with key sources of information used and suggestions for further reading. A glossary is provided in Appendix 1. Part one starts with the scope and aim of this document, and continues with a brief introduction to the issue of uncertainty in environmental Health Impact Assessments. The potential usefulness of expert elicitation in exploring particular uncertainties is then issued, thereby focusing on quantifiable input for which no reliable data is available (uncertain quantities), such as a particular exposure-response-function. Part two is intended as guidance to build a formal (i.e. well-developed, structured, systematic, transparent, traceable, and documented) expert elicitation procedure that is tailored to the particular research question and the uncertainties at hand. To this end, an overview (Figure 1) and possible basic building blocks are provided. For each building block, methodological suggestions are provided with a view to refer the reader to a range (variety) of possible methods. Yet this overview does not claim to be exhaustive nor representative of all published methodologies for expert elicitation.
Version: Dec 2008 Filesize: 352.54 Kb
Added on: 22-Jan-2009 Downloads: 18272 HomePage
Category: Reports

  Uncertainty and climate change adaptation - a scoping study  Popular
Description: This report reviews state-of-the-art of methods and tools available in the literature in helping inform adaptation decisions. We focus on the assessment of climate change uncertainties. Further, the report reviews existing frameworks for decision making under uncertainty for adaptation to climate change. The report explores how different ways of including uncertainty in decision making match with uncertainty information provided by the various uncertainty assessment methods. It reviews a broad range of areas of climate change impacts and impacted sectors of society and economy that may require a response of planned adaptation.
Version: Dec2007 Filesize: 2.33 MB
Added on: 21-Dec-2007 Downloads: 16547 HomePage
Category: Reports

  Uncertainty Communication Issues and good practice  Popular
Description: This report has been developed for the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency. It offers background information on uncertainty communication, and contains suggestions and guidance on how to communicate uncertainties in environmental assessment reports to several target audiences in an adequate, clear, and systematic way. It is not claimed that this is the only way or the best way to communicate uncertainty information, but the guidance in this report draws upon insights from the literature, insights from an international expert workshop on uncertainty communication, and several uncertainty communication experiments in the Utrecht Policy Laboratory.
Version: Dec2007 Filesize: 1.10 MB
Added on: 31-Dec-2007 Downloads: 16434 HomePage
Category: Reports

  Global Systems Failures  Popular
Description: Jerry Ravetz: Global Systems Failures
It is now obvious that there is a problem of possible massive failures of the various systems on which modern society, indeed all of civilisation, depends. Thanks to climate change and instability, we must reckon with the prospect of at the very least the disruption of our civilisation, quite possibly its serious damage or collapse, and indeed the real possibility of an extinction of species on a scale that takes us back to early in the history of life on the planet. Should we escape from any of those fates, we still must reckon with the fragility of many other global systems. Those of national defence are threatened by the spread of weapons of mass destruction. Those of the management of wastes are already compromised by insidious pollutants. Our systems of maintaining health are seriously threatened by biological pathogens which are created by the conditions of modern technology, be they in mass over-medication, mass travel or mass food. Even the systems of communication are vulnerable to 'malware', pathogens of information which, it now seems, can at best be kept at bay and never wiped out. And suddenly the world, particularly the Anglo-Saxon part, perceives itself as threatened with a failure of systems of protection against 'terror'. This is considered by governments to be so serious as to justify the suspension of liberties that were won many hundreds of years ago. Everywhere we look, there are threats of failures of systems, many on a global scale.
Version: Sept 2005 Filesize: 267.56 Kb
Added on: 26-Sep-2005 Downloads: 14180 HomePage
Category: papers

  Inclusion of Pedigree-analysis (NUSAP) in undergraduate science education: An example  Popular
Description: Aalborg University applies a problem-based learning model. Each semester all students form groups. Group members formulate and agree upon a problem they want to address, within their course of study, and write a long report on their findings (length depends on the year of study, the number of group members etc.). Key principles for the choice problem is praxis-orientation, interdisciplinarity, and contextualisation. To facilitate inter-disciplinarity two supervisors – a disciplinary and a contextual – might be associated with student groups. A team of seven undergraduate students of Chemistry, Environmental technology and Biotechnology study-programme at Aalborg University, and thei contextual superviso worked on the problem “What is the risk of methane migration into houses situated on the terminated landfill “Skrænten” in Hjørring, Denmark?” The work consisted of both a technical part and a contextual part. In the technical part we investigated the theoretical foundation of methane production in landfills and we measured the concentration of methane at different places at the landfill Skrænten in Hjørring. In the contextual part a NUSAP analysis was done on the risk assessment of the gas-producing landfill that had been carried out by the local authorities.
Version: 1 Filesize: 468.75 Kb
Added on: 13-Oct-2009 Downloads: 12916
Category: papers

  Towards a new paradigm of science in scientific policy advising  Popular
Description: Towards a new paradigm of science in scientific policy advising
Version: 2007 Filesize: 41.35 Kb
Added on: 15-Oct-2007 Downloads: 12715 HomePage
Category: papers

  Jeroen van der Sluijs: Towards a synthesis of qualitative and quantitative uncertainty assessment  Popular
Description: Jeroen van der Sluijs, Penny Kloprogge, James Risbey, and Jerry Ravetz
Extended abstract prepared on invitation by the US Environmental Protection Agency for the International Workshop on Uncertainty, Sensitivity, and Parameter Estimation for Multimedia Environmental Modeling, August 19-21, 2003, Rockville, MD, US. Organised by the Federal Working Group on Uncertainty and Parameter Estimation under the Federal Interagency Steering Committee on Multimedia Environmental Modeling (ISCMEM).
Version: 1 Filesize: 672.70 Kb
Added on: 04-Aug-2003 Downloads: 12352 HomePage
Category: papers

  Andrea Saltelli: Quantitative methods to manage uncertainty in science  Popular
Description: Presentation by Andrea Saltelli at the Mini-symposium "The management of uncertainty in risk science and policy", World Congress on Risk, Brussels, 22-25 June 2003.
Version: Filesize: 1.07 MB
Added on: 25-Jun-2003 Downloads: 9737 HomePage
Category: Lectures and poster presentations

  RIVM/MNP Guidance for Uncertainty Assessment and Communication: part 1  Popular
Description: RIVM/MNP Guidance for Uncertainty Assessment and Communication, Mini-Checklist and Quickscan Questionnaire
Version: june 2003 Filesize: 187.43 Kb
Added on: 23-Jun-2003 Downloads: 9734 HomePage
Category: Reports

  RIVM/MNP Guidance for Uncertainty Assessment and Communication: part 2  Popular
Description: RIVM/MNP Guidance for Uncertainty Assessment and Communication: Quickscan Hints & Actions List
Version: june 2003 Filesize: 0 bytes
Added on: 23-Jun-2003 Downloads: 9706 HomePage
Category: Reports

  Tool Catalogue of RIVM/MNP Guidance for Uncertainty Assessment and Communication  Popular
Description: This report contains the Tool Catalogue of the RIVM/MNP Guidance for Uncertainty Assessment and Communication, Authors: J.P. van der Sluijs, P.H.M. Janssen, A.C. Petersen, P. Kloprogge, J.S. Risbey, W. Tuinstra, J.R. Ravetz.
For each tool it gives a brief description of what it does and how it works and it provides information on:
  • What sorts and locations of uncertainty does this tool address?
  • What resources are required to use the tool?
  • Strengths and limitations of each tool
  • Some guidance on the application of the tools and hints on complementarity with other tools
  • Typical pitfalls of each tool
  • References to handbooks, user-guides, example case studies, web sites and in-house and external experts who have knowledge on and experience with each tool and who may be consulted by RIVM for further advice.

Version: July 2004 Filesize: 1.39 MB
Added on: 09-Jul-2004 Downloads: 9556 HomePage
Category: Reports

  A Checklist for Quality Assistance in Environmental Modelling  Popular
Description: Risbey, James, Jeroen van der Sluijs, Jerry Ravetz, Peter Janssen, A Checklist for Quality Assistance in Environmental Modelling, Dept. of Science, Technology and Society, Utrecht University. 22 pp. NWS-E-2001-11
Version: April 2001 Filesize: 764.23 Kb
Added on: 09-Oct-2001 Downloads: 9145 HomePage
Category: Reports

  Dealing with uncertainty in numbers  Popular
Description: Jerry Ravetz, Dealing with uncertainty in numbers
Version: 1 Filesize: 122.58 Kb
Added on: 17-Aug-2002 Downloads: 8331 HomePage
Category: Draft papers and reports

  Towards Guidance in Assessing and Communicating Uncertainties  Popular
Description: Peter H.M. Janssen, Arthur C. Petersen, Jeroen P. van der Sluijs, James S. Risbey and Jerome R. Ravetz, Towards Guidance in Assessing and Communicating Uncertainties Paper presented at the Fourth International Conference on Sensitivity Analysis of Model Output (SAMO), Santa Fe, 8-11 March 2004.
Version: final Filesize: 416.17 Kb
Added on: 03-Mar-2004 Downloads: 8096
Category: papers

  Detailed RIVM/MNP Guidance for Uncertainty Assessment and Communication  Popular
Description: Detailed checklist instrument of the RIVM/MNP Guidance for Uncertainty Assessment and Communication. Developed by Utrecht University Copernicus Institute for Sustainable Development and Innovation and the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (RIVM/MNP). Published: October 2003.
Version: 1 Filesize: 1.12 MB
Added on: 08-Jul-2003 Downloads: 7987 HomePage
Category: Reports

  Poster: Uncertainty assessment of the IMAGE TIMER B1 CO2 emissions scenario using the NUSAP method  Popular
Description: Poster presented at the final conference of the Dutch National Research Program on Climate Change, Nov 15, 2001 by J.P. van der Sluijs et al.
Version: Filesize: 113.64 Kb
Added on: 15-Nov-2001 Downloads: 7345 HomePage
Category: Lectures and poster presentations

  Uncertainty Assessment of VOC emissions from Paint in the Netherlands using NUSAP  Popular
Description: This study demonstrates the application of NUSAP to the case of VOC emissions from paint. By means of expert elicitation we identified critical assumptions, key sources of error and conceivable sources of motivational bias in the monitoring. We elicited pedigree and PDFs of all inputs and combined findings in a diagnostic diagram. Overall we conclude that NUSAP provides a strong diagnostic tool which yields a richer insight in sources and nature of uncertainty than Monte Carlo analysis alone. The protocol structure stimulates scrutinization of method and underlying assumptions and effectively facilitates structured creative thinking on sources of error.
Version: 1 Filesize: 1.48 MB
Added on: 13-Jun-2002 Downloads: 7066 HomePage
Category: Reports

  Uncertainty assessment of the IMAGE/TIMER B1 CO2 emissions scenario, using the NUSAP method  Popular
Description: Jeroen P. van der Sluijs, Jose Potting, James Risbey, Detlef van Vuuren, Bert de Vries, Arthur Beusen, Peter Heuberger, Serafin Corral Quintana, Silvio Funtowicz, Penny Kloprogge, David Nuijten, Arthur Petersen, Jerry Ravetz. 2001. Uncertainty assessment of the IMAGE/TIMER B1 CO2 emissions scenario, using the NUSAP method Dutch National Research Program on Climate Change, Report no: 410 200 104 (2002), 225 pp.
Version: March 2002 Filesize: 2.38 MB
Added on: 11-Oct-2001 Downloads: 6790 HomePage
Category: Reports

Description: Presentation by Ângela Guimarães Pereira and Serafin Corral Quintana, Knowledge Assessment Methodologies (KAM), EC-JRC, Ispra. Presented at the 11 November 2002 FP6 launch event "Management of Uncertainty in Science for Sustainability, future research challenges for Europe".
Also presented at the workshop "Naar een strategie voor omgaan met onzekerheid binnen het werkveld van het MNP", RIVM and Department of Science Technology and Society, Utrecht University, De Bilt 22 November 2001.
Version: 22-11-2001 Filesize: 3.90 MB
Added on: 27-Nov-2001 Downloads: 6515 HomePage
Category: Lectures and poster presentations

  Paradoxes and the Future of Safety in the Global Knowledge Economy  Popular
Description: Jerry Ravetz: Paradoxes and the Future of Safety in the Global Knowledge Economy
Governments face increasingly acute dilemmas in securing the safety of their citizens in the face of controversial technological innovations. This state of crisis results from structural features of the global knowledge economy. Governments are forced into contradictory roles, acting both as promoters of global business enterprise and also as regulators on behalf of a sophisticated and suspicious public. I explain the crisis by substituting ‘safety’ for ‘risk’ as the operative concept, and also using paradox as an explanatory tool. I produce a closed-cycle paradox, analogous to the classic Catch-22, to exhibit the contradictions in the situation. I argue that ‘safety’ is a very useful concept for policy-related science precisely because it exposes those contradictions and others latent in scientific methodology. I discuss ways of resolving these contradictions, which include the recognition of policy-critical ignorance and the adoption of the perspective of post-normal science.
Version: 2 Filesize: 248.64 Kb
Added on: 09-Sep-2002 Downloads: 6312 HomePage
Category: papers

  Marcelo Firpo Porto: Risks and uncertainties in vulnerable contexts: the Brazilian experience  Popular
Description: Presentation by Marcelo Firpo Porto at the Mini-symposium "The management of uncertainty in risk science and policy", World Congress on Risk, Brussels, 22-25 June 2003.
Version: Filesize: 198.00 Kb
Added on: 25-Jun-2003 Downloads: 6258 HomePage
Category: Lectures and poster presentations

  Uncertainty assessment of NOx, SO2 and NH3 emissions in the Netherlands  Popular
Description: R. van Gijlswijk, P. Coenen, T. Pulles and J.P. van der Sluijs, 2004: Uncertainty assessment of NOx, SO2 and NH3 emissions in the Netherlands.
Joint report by TNO and Copernicus Institute in commission of the RIVM.
This study applies the NUSAP method.
Version: March 2004 Filesize: 1.82 MB
Added on: 16-Mar-2004 Downloads: 6212
Category: Reports

  Models as Metaphors: A New Look at Science  Popular
Description: Jerry Ravetz, Models as Metaphors: A New Look at Science
The research discussed in the present volume was conceived and organised around the problematic character of Integrated Assessment (IA) computer models of global change. Since they do not claim to make factual statements or reliable predictions, the questions of their scientific status, and of their use for policy, become urgent. In focus groups conducted with citizens, these models were seen as useful for enlarging the scope of people’s imagination about climate change and the role of individuals in thatproblem. In that context models were discovered to be ‘poetic’. Stimulated by this experience, this chapter explores the question of whether they could fruitfully be seen as ‘metaphors’, expressing in an indirect form our presuppositions about the problem and its possible solutions. Although this approach is very different from the traditional understanding of scientific knowledge, it may well be useful in helping science adapt to its new functions in an age of sustainability challenges and scientific uncertainty.
Version: 1 Filesize: 76.08 Kb
Added on: 17-Aug-2002 Downloads: 6129 HomePage
Category: Draft papers and reports



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· Archived articles (06/19)

Past Articles
Monday, October 15 2007

· Towards a new paradigm of science in scientific policy advising

Wednesday, April 11 2007

· Post Normal Science, working deliberatively within imperfections

Monday, July 31 2006

· e-KAM SCHOOL E-Learning Course On Knowledge Assessment & Extended Participation

Monday, September 26 2005

· Global Systems Failures

Tuesday, July 19 2005

· The Precautionary Principle

Sunday, February 27 2005

· The Post-Normal Times

Friday, February 25 2005

· Interactive Web application of Uncertainty Guidance instruments

Wednesday, October 20 2004

· Uncertainty and Precaution in Environmental Management: insights from UPEM

Wednesday, September 01 2004


Wednesday, August 25 2004

· Short Course Model Uncertainty Analysis (13-14 October 2004)

Wednesday, July 28 2004

· Summer school on sensitivity analysis in Venice

Wednesday, May 26 2004

· Course: Genetic engineering; Connecting science, risk and communities

Tuesday, April 27 2004

· Uncertainty and Precaution in Environmental Management (UPEM 2004)

Monday, April 26 2004

· New book on sensitivity analysis

Tuesday, March 16 2004

· Uncertainty assessment of NOx, SO2 and NH3 emissions in the Netherlands

Wednesday, March 03 2004

· Safety Paradoxes - revised
· Towards Guidance in Assessing and Communicating Uncertainties

Saturday, November 29 2003

· Professor Poul Harremoës died

Monday, August 04 2003

· Towards a synthesis of qualitative and quantitative uncertainty assessment

Monday, July 21 2003

· Workshop: Interfaces between science and society, 27-28 nov 2003, Milano

Monday, June 23 2003

· RIVM/MNP guidance for uncertainty assessment and communication

Thursday, June 12 2003

· Workshop: Uncertainty in environmental health risk science and policy

Saturday, May 17 2003

· Mini sysmposium:
The management of uncertainty in risk science and policy

Tuesday, January 28 2003

· Symposium: Uncertainty and Precaution in Environmental Management (June 2004)

Tuesday, November 05 2002

· Ruskin and the Scientists

Tuesday, October 29 2002

· The Precautionary Principle, Knowledge Uncertainty, and Environmental Assessment

Monday, October 07 2002

· MUST Session at November FP6 conference

Thursday, September 12 2002

· Safety in the Globalising Knowledge Economy

Wednesday, June 19 2002

· One day free course on Sensitivity Analysis at the JRC - Ispra.

Friday, June 07 2002

· Conference announcement: Foresight

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