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Foundational Issues in Risk Assessment and Risk Management



This is a perspective article on foundational issues in risk assessment and management. The aim is to discuss the needs, obstacles, and challenges for the establishment of a renewed, strong scientific foundation for risk assessment and risk management suited for the current and future technological challenges. The focus is on (i) reviewing and discussing the present situation and (ii) identifying how to best proceed in the future, to develop the risk discipline in the directions needed. The article provides some reflections on the interpretation and understanding of the concept of “foundations of risk assessment and risk management” and the challenges therein. One main recommendation is that different arenas and moments for discussion are needed to specifically address foundational issues in a way that embraces the many disciplinary communities involved (from social scientists to engineers, from behavioral scientists to statisticians, from health physicists to lawyers, etc.). One such opportunity is sought in the constitution of a novel specialty group of the Society of Risk Analysis.