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Managing Risk And Uncertainty During A Novel Epidemic

Author: Maya Ponte
Size: 62.74 MB
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This dissertation is an analysis of the strategic management of risk and uncertainty in health policy. The question I have posed is: how does the government and its scientific advisers attempt to control the future of a disease when many gaps in our knowledge persist? In particular, I focus on selected debates, discussions, and decisions surrounding the management of Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies (TSEs), or prion diseases, in both the US and UK over the past two decades. Between the summer of 2001 and the spring of 2005 I conducted participant-observation research in a variety of settings. Beginning with a few nodes in the network of prion disease management, I followed the network to other nodes, or sites, where knowledge was being produced, disease management actions were being discussed, and decisions were being made. In addition, I conducted semi-structured interviews with 10 family members of patients diagnosed with prion disease, 15 past or present US and UK government employees in positions dealing with prion disease risk management, and 48 scientists from the US, UK, France, Germany, and Switzerland. I found that risk and uncertainty were managed strategically through recourse to metaphors. These metaphors included model systems of the disease and past experiences with other diseases. Uncertainty was further marginalized, or rather disguised, by employing Future Oriented Statistical Projections, or predictions of the ensuing course of a disease based on the aforementioned metaphors. By presenting the future course of a disease as knowable through numbers, the remaining uncertainties appeared to melt away. Further, risk was often treated as though it could be bounded spatially and temporally through recourse to bodily, geographic, and temporal metaphors while the attendant uncertainties were bracketed to produce a momentary feeling of certainty. These strategies offered a means of cloaking risk management decisions in a guise of rationality despite the underlying uncertainties involved. In this way, governments, advisory committees, and other institutions charged with managing disease upheld their mandate to plan for the future in a "rational" manner. Such rationality was often only temporary in appearance, readily dissolving as uncertainties resurfaced.

The Illusion Of Certainty

Author: Erik Rifkin
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 0387485724
Size: 70.30 MB
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This book provides an understanding and appreciation of the risk assessment process and the ability to objectively interpret health risk values. Included is an explanation of the uncertainty inherent in the assessment of risks as well as an explanation of how the communication and characterization of risks can dramatically alter the perception of those risks. Case studies illustrate the strengths and limitations of characterizing certain risks. Using the accepted risk assessment paradigm proposed by the National Research Council, these case studies illustrate which risk values have merit and why other assessments fail to meet basic criteria.

Managing Risk In Extreme Environments

Author: Duncan Martin
Publisher: Kogan Page Publishers
ISBN: 0749449454
Size: 22.74 MB
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When it really is a matter of life and death, how do risk management strategies stand up to the pressure? Do such radical situations have a practical relevance to risk management policies in today's business and financial worlds? Managing Risk in Extreme Environments looks at real-life examples - from epidemics to earthquakes - to showcase risk management strategies which have been tested in adverse conditions and shown to succeed. The author then demonstrates how the lessons learnt from each can be effectively applied in business. Including first-hand interviews, and a summary of core risk management concepts, this is a cracking good read for all risk management professionals and business managers.

The Flaw Of Averages

Author: Sam L. Savage
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 1118373588
Size: 73.30 MB
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A must-read for anyone who makes business decisions that have a major financial impact. As the recent collapse on Wall Street shows, we are often ill-equipped to deal with uncertainty and risk. Yet every day we base our personal and business plans on uncertainties, whether they be next month’s sales, next year’s costs, or tomorrow’s stock price. In The Flaw of Averages, Sam Savage­known for his creative exposition of difficult subjects­ describes common avoidable mistakes in assessing risk in the face of uncertainty. Along the way, he shows why plans based on average assumptions are wrong, on average, in areas as diverse as healthcare, accounting, the War on Terror, and climate change. In his chapter on Sex and the Central Limit Theorem, he bravely grasps the literary third rail of gender differences. Instead of statistical jargon, Savage presents complex concepts in plain English. In addition, a tightly integrated web site contains numerous animations and simulations to further connect the seat of the reader’s intellect to the seat of their pants. The Flaw of Averages typically results when someone plugs a single number into a spreadsheet to represent an uncertain future quantity. Savage finishes the book with a discussion of the emerging field of Probability Management, which cures this problem though a new technology that can pack thousands of numbers into a single spreadsheet cell. Praise for The Flaw of Averages “Statistical uncertainties are pervasive in decisions we make every day in business, government, and our personal lives. Sam Savage’s lively and engaging book gives any interested reader the insight and the tools to deal effectively with those uncertainties. I highly recommend The Flaw of Averages.” —William J. Perry, Former U.S. Secretary of Defense “Enterprise analysis under uncertainty has long been an academic ideal. . . . In this profound and entertaining book, Professor Savage shows how to make all this practical, practicable, and comprehensible.” —­Harry Markowitz, Nobel Laureate in Economics

Uncertainty And Risk

Author: Gabriele Bammer
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1136549854
Size: 21.86 MB
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This is a major, and deeply thoughtful, contribution to understanding uncertainty and risk. Our world and its unprecedented challenges need such ways of thinking! Much more than a set of contributions from different disciplines, this book leads you to explore your own way of perceiving your own area of work. An outstanding contribution that will stay on my shelves for many years. Dr Neil T. M. Hamilton, Director, WWF International Arctic Programme This collection of essays provides a unique and fascinating overview of perspectives on uncertainty and risk across a wide variety of disciplines. It is a valuable and accessible sourcebook for specialists and laypeople alike. Professor Renate Schubert, Head of the Institute for Environmental Decisions and Chair of Economics at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology This comprehensive collection of disciplinary perspectives on uncertainty is a definitive guide to contemporary insights into this Achilles heel of modernity and the endemic hubris of institutional science in its role as public authority. It gives firm foundations to the fundamental historic shift now underway in the world, towards normalizing acceptance of the immanent condition of ignorance and of its practical corollaries: contingency, uncontrol, and respect for difference. Brian Wynne, Professor of Science Studies, Lancaster University Bammer and Smithson have assembled a fascinating, important collection of papers on uncertainty and its management. The integrative nature of Uncertainty and Risk makes it a landmark in the intellectual history of this vital cross-disciplinary concept. George Cvetkovich, Director, Center for Cross-Cultural Research, Western Washington University Uncertainty governs our lives. From the unknowns of living with the risks of terrorism to developing policies on genetically modified foods, or disaster planning for catastrophic climate change, how we conceptualize, evaluate and cope with uncertainty drives our actions and deployment of resources, decisions and priorities. In this thorough and wide-ranging volume, theoretical perspectives are drawn from art history, complexity science, economics, futures, history, law, philosophy, physics, psychology, statistics and theology. On a practical level, uncertainty is examined in emergency management, intelligence, law enforcement, music, policy and politics. Key problems that are a subject of focus are environmental management, communicable diseases and illicit drugs. Opening and closing sections of the book provide major conceptual strands in uncertainty thinking and develop an integrated view of the nature of uncertainty, uncertainty as a motivating or de-motivating force, and strategies for coping and managing under uncertainty.

Risk And Reason

Author: Cass R. Sunstein
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521016254
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Reveals the sources of such problems as airplane safety, global warming, and pollution, and examines what can be done by providing proposals for social reform and risk regulation.

New Risks Issues And Management

Author: Louis A. Cox
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 9780306435379
Size: 41.79 MB
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This volume contains the proceedings of the 1986 annual meeting and conference of the Society for Risk Analysis. It provides a detailed view of both mature disciplines and emerging areas within the fields of health, safety, and environmental risk analysis as they existed in 1986. In selecting and organizing topics for this conference, we sought both (i) to identify and include new ideas and application areas that would be of lasting interest to risk analysts and to users of risk analysis results, and (ii) to include innovative methods and applications in established areas of risk analysis. In the three years since the conference, many of the topics presented there for the first time to a broad risk analysis audience have become well developed-and sometimes hotly debated-areas of applied risk research. Several, such as the public health hazards from indoor air pollutants, radon in the home, high-voltage electric fields, and the AIDS epidemic, have been the subjects of headlines since 1986. Older areas, such as hazardous waste site ranking and remediation, air emissions dispersion modeling and exposure assessment, transportation safety, seismic and nuclear risk assessment, and occupational safety in the chemical industry, have continued to receive new treatments and to benefit from advances in quantitative risk assessment methods, as documented in the theoretical and methodological papers in this volume. A theme of the meeting was the importance of new technologies and the new and uncertain risks that they create.

The Obesity Epidemic

Author: Michael Gard
Publisher: Psychology Press
ISBN: 9780415318969
Size: 56.34 MB
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Increasing obesity levels are currently big news but do we think carefully enough about what this trend actually means? Everybody – including doctors, parents, teachers, sports clubs, businesses and governments – has a role to play in the 'war on obesity'. But is talk of an obesity 'crisis' justified? Is it the product of measured scientific reasoning or age-old 'habits of mind'? Why is it happening now? And are there potential risks associated with talking about obesity as an 'epidemic'? The Obesity Epidemic proposes that obesity science and the popular media present a complex mix of ambiguous knowledge, familiar (yet unstated) moral agendas and ideological assumptions.

Contested Spaces In Contemporary North American Novels

Author: Şemsettin Tabur
Publisher: Cambridge Scholars Publishing
ISBN: 1527516946
Size: 15.87 MB
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This volume investigates the ways in which Toni Morrison’s A Mercy, Dionne Brand’s In Another Place, Not Here, Jhumpa Lahiri’s The Namesake, and Carolyn See’s There Will Never Be Another You engage with the physical, ideological, and socially constructed “real-and-imagined” spaces of colonialism, justice, diaspora, and risk. Building on a range of theoretical approaches to the production of space, this study argues for the significance of literature as a cartographic practice charting the intricacies of the socio-spatiality of human life. Through rigorous readings, this book examines each novel as a critical map that both represents and explores contested spaces and alternative spatial negotiations. These spatially oriented literary analyses contribute to recent conceptualizations of space as socially and relationally produced, open, dynamic, and contested, and enrich the existing scholarship on the novels discussed here.

Coping With Risk In Agriculture 3rd Edition

Author: J Brian Hardaker
Publisher: CABI
ISBN: 1780645740
Size: 11.22 MB
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Risk and uncertainty are inescapable factors in agriculture which require careful management. Farmers face production risks from the weather, crop and livestock performance, and pests and diseases, as well as institutional, personal and business risks. This revised third edition of the popular textbook includes updated chapters on theory and methods and contains a new chapter discussing the state-contingent approach to the analysis of production and the use of copulas to better model stochastic dependency. Aiming to introduce agricultural decision making, probability and risk preference, this book is an indispensable guide for students and researchers of agriculture and agribusiness management.