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Category: papers

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  Climate change impact assessment and adaptation under uncertainty  Popular
Description: Expected impacts of climate change are associated with large uncertainties, particularly at the local level. Adaptation scientists, practitioners, and decision-makers will need to find ways to cope with these uncertainties. Several approaches have been suggested as ‘uncertainty-proof’ to some degree, but their suitability depends on the specific situation. For instance, some approaches work well under deep uncertainty, while others perform better under lower levels of uncertainty. This thesis presents several empirical studies on climate change impacts & adaptation under uncertainty in actual adaptation decision-situations. Methods used include expert elicitation, document analysis, empirical workshops, discourse analysis, literature review, and case-study analysis.
Version: 2011 Filesize: 3.42 MB
Added on: 31-May-2011 Downloads: 3165 HomePage

  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

  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

  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

  Jerry Ravetz: Ruskin and the Scientisits  Popular
Description: Jerry Ravetz reflects on the perils and ethics of science advice.
In a previous essay on the difficulties of restoring public trust in science , I mentioned that ‘science advice’ is a new and poorly understood form of science. There I focused mainly on the public’s discontents. Now I would like to analyse science advice more deeply, exploring the implications of this new professional role.
Version: 1 Filesize: 3.28 MB
Added on: 05-Nov-2002 Downloads: 5414 HomePage

  Model evaluation and performance  Popular
Description: B. Beck. Model Evaluation and Performance. in: A.H. El-Shaarawi and W.W. Piegorsch, Encyclopedia of Environmetrics. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Chichester, 2002.
Version: Filesize: 29.97 Kb
Added on: 15-Nov-2001 Downloads: 4694

  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

  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

  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

  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



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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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