Issues 97, December 2011
Getting Risk Wrong
Why do we assess risk so poorly? The answer is elusive, but we do know that it makes us vulnerable to all manner of dangers and misconceptions.
Calculating Risk and Living with the Consequences
A risk analyst revisits the assessment and acceptability of risk after losing his house to a forest fire.
Against All Odds
How do casinos and bookmakers rig the odds in their favour?
Scientists and regulators tend to talk a lot about how to better communicate risk, and the science of risk assessment to the public, but they don’t tend to talk so much about how to better understand what the public thinks about risk, and why they think what they do. Yet understanding risk perceptions is vital to better risk communications.
Seasonal Climate Forecasts: Can Decision Analysis Help Agriculture?
Because decisions are about the future they involve uncertainty, yet we make most decisions with a minimum of effort. Hard decisions usually involve high levels of uncertainty and have significant consequences: they are risky decisions. Climate is a major source of uncertainty, often with significant consequences for agricultural decision-makers.
Active Citizenship: Risk or Opportunity for Young People?
Young people are often held up as our hope for the future, the ones who will protect our democracies and spearhead better social and environmental practices. At the same time, they are subject to a pervasive risk discourse and to a range of mechanisms designed more to govern and control them than to learn from them or let them lead.
Science Advice and Policy Making
Lord Robert May, former UK Chief Scientist, examines some of the major risks facing the world climate change, food security and economic stability in an online-only extra provided by the Royal Society of NSW.
2012 McAfee Threat Predictions
A look at the latest cyberthreats that could affect consumers this coming year.
Risky Business: Risk Management, Sexual Violence and the Night-Time Economy
Are young women at risk of sexual assault when they go out for a night on the town, and how can this risk best be managed?
What’s Behind the Risk-Taking Behaviours of Ecstasy Users?
The Ecstasy and Related Drugs Reporting System has surveyed regular users of illicit drugs to build up a picture of their risk-taking behaviours and the consequences they have faced.
Lecture Free Zone
The ideas and opinions of more than 30,000 young Australians are at the centre of a new parliamentary report into cyber-safety.
Electromagnetic Fields and Public Health: Mobile Phones
The World Health Organization examines the risk posed to our health from radiation emitted by mobile phones.
Risks from Climate Change
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has released a summary of its Special Report on Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation.
Who Will Protect the Cuttlefish from BHP Billiton and Other Polluters?
BHP Billiton has recently received South Australian and federal government pre-approval to pollute Upper Spencer Gulf, one of the most fragile and distinctive marine ecosystems in Australian waters. Is this a sign of gross failure of environmental legislation in Australia, or is technology advanced enough to eliminate natural disasters in this region?
Nanotechnology to Confront Our Real Risks: From Conscience and Energy Security to Global Artificial Photosynthesis
We may be missing the bigger picture when thinking about the risks of nanotechnology. Nanotechnology can be applied to overcome risks to energy security, particularly through artificial photosynthesis.
Avian Superflu and the Censorship of Science
Are the benefits of scientific openness worth the risk of releasing a new superflu?