Issue 01/2014

A Sociological Checklist for Assessing Environmental Health Risks
Daniel Benamouzig, Olivier Borraz, Jean-Noël Jouzel, Danielle Salomon
The contribution of social sciences to risk assessment has often been confined to dimensions of risk perception and communication. This article relates an effort to promote knowledge from the social sciences that addresses other dimensions of risk issues. A sociological checklist produced for ANSES in France helps to identify and analyse social dimensions that should be given attention during the process of risk assessment.
The Quiet Revolution in EU Administrative Procedure: Judicial Vetting of Precautionary Risk Assessment
Prof. Dr. Lucas Bergkamp
Case T-333/10, ATC and Others v Commission, 16/09/2013 (‘Animal Trading’), nyr.
The EU’s Cybercrime and Cyber-Security Rulemaking: Mapping the Internal and External Dimensions of EU Security
Elaine Fahey
By taking the EU Cyber Strategy as a case in point, this contribution examines how the distinction between external and internal security in contemporary EU law manifests itself in large-scale risk regulation and in particular, how the EU relies upon external norms to regulate risk. This article also maps the evolution of the rule-making processes themselves.
Extended Peer Evaluation of an Analytical Deliberative Decision Support Procedure in Environmental Health Practice
Dr. Hans Keune, Gudrun Koppen, Bert Morrens, Johan Springael, Dr. Caroline Teughels
How can we assess the quality of an analytical deliberative decision support procedure in environmental health practice? Objectifying quality criteria is difficult for several reasons. Opening up evaluation to a diversity of critics is one approach to take into account different actor perspectives and complexity. We describe how social scientists organized extended peer evaluation of a participatory multi-criteria procedure that was applied in Flemish environmental health practice. International peer review was combined with local extended peer evaluation. Social scientists collaborated closely with natural scientists and policy representatives in designing several evaluative activities and in interpreting the results. We discuss how these different perspectives came to reach conclusions, with a special focus on methodological decision-making. A process of learning by doing and negotiating, finding a methodological path amidst practicalities, complexity and ambition.
Incorporating Social Sciences in Public Risk Assessment and Risk Management Organisations
Cécile Wendling
The objective of the article is to analyse the use of Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS) in public risk assessment and risk management organisations in France, Germany, the UK, the Netherlands, Canada and the United States based on more than a hundred interviews conducted with social sciences experts employed by or working for these organisations. If the added value brought by the integration of social scientists is recognised, the use of social sciences differs from one organisation to another. The article compares the different positions given to social scientists inside and outside the organisation, the various methods used and the different contents produced. The survey highlights a set of initiatives that are scattered, differentiated and ultimately have little in common - except that they often play a marginal role in the main activities of the agencies concerned.
Scientific Expertise in Situations of Controversy: A Sociological Testimony
Yannick Barthe
While there is now a large amount of social science research on scientific expertise, testimonies made by sociologists who themselves participated in scientific expertise on a controversial topic remain rare. It is this type of feedback and testimony that this paper will articulate and discuss. The aim is to propose a series of reflections on scientific expertise from a personal experience: the participation of the author as a sociologist in an expert committee set up by the former French Agency for the Safety of Health, the Environment and Work (AFSSET) on the topic of radio-frequencies. Several problematic aspects of scientific expertise will thus be discussed from this concrete experience: the problem of the composition of the expert group and the issue of conflict of interest, the way in which the work of expertise is organized within the group, the effects of the presence of an observer from an association, and the differences between scientific work and scientific expertise.


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