Issues and Trends in Risk Research (Proceedings of two meetings at IIASA: "Technological Risk in Modern Society" [18-20 March 1988] and "Safe Technological Systems" [11-12 May 1988])

Segerstahl, B. & Kroemer, G. (1988). Issues and Trends in Risk Research (Proceedings of two meetings at IIASA: "Technological Risk in Modern Society" [18-20 March 1988] and "Safe Technological Systems" [11-12 May 1988]). IIASA Working Paper. IIASA, Laxenburg, Austria: WP-88-034

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Research on risks resulting from our highly technological society has a long tradition at IIASA and has firmly established the institute as a center for a growing network of scientists concerned with technological risks. IIASA's research has been characterized by a small and dynamic group of scientists from many different disciplines and countries working together on a concrete technological risk problem. A major strength of the research has been its continuing focus on substantive problem areas with an evolving and often pioneering conceptual and scientific approach. Thus, IIASA has made important contributions to the general "risk field in topics ranging from "decision making under uncertainty" and the "perception of risks" to the role of risk analysts in political and institutional processes.

At its June 1986 meeting, IIASA's Council decided to consolidate and strengthen the institute's research on technological risk. Extensive discussions within the institute and with outside organizations have taken place in an effort to ensure an optimal choice of issues to be addressed from the point of view of relevance and access to knowledge in the field. It was felt necessary to enter a fact-finding phase in order to evaluate the latest trends in risk research and to arrive at a meaningful set of issues on which to concentrate further research undertaken by the institute. Two meetings have been organized to this end:

1. Technological Risk in Modern Society: This meeting took place in Laxenburg from March 18-20, 1987, and was organized by IIASA in collaboration with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Its goal was to design a research agenda for work related to safety issues and to the control and management of accidents in power systems or other potentially high-risk utilities.

2. Safe Technological Systems: This workshop was organized exclusively by IIASA and took place at the Institute from May 11-12, 1987. Instead of taking a given design and looking at ways and means to improve its safety, the meeting attempted to look at the impact of design principles and different types of trade-offs on the generic safety of technological systems.

After numerous accidents in technological systems, it has become urgent to address the issue of how to improve the safety of technological systems. There have been discussions on inherently safe nuclear power plants, for example, but the general concept of inherently safe systems is subject to debate. Nevertheless, it is clear that in future system design, safety must assume a much more important role than in the past.

As the two meetings are closely related to each other, it was decided, instead of creating two separate proceedings volumes as originally planned, to combine the outcomes of both meetings into one logical volume. This allowed us to rearrange the topics across the two meetings, thereby arriving at a more coherent documentation.

The papers included have been brought into proper context as far as possible, independently of in which session or workshop they were presented. In most cases, they are included as delivered by authors, without additional editing. The purpose of these proceedings in strictly documentary without emphasis on layout, style or thematic consistency.

Item Type: Monograph (IIASA Working Paper)
Research Programs: Risk, Policy, and Complexity (RPC)
Depositing User: IIASA Import
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2016 01:59
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 17:13

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