Risk in Historical Perspective: Concepts, Contexts, and Conjunctions

  title={Risk in Historical Perspective: Concepts, Contexts, and Conjunctions},
  author={Karin Zachmann},
Although the etymological roots of the term risk can be traced back as far as the late Middle Ages, the modern concept of risk appeared only gradually, with the transition from traditional to modern society. The modern understanding of risk presupposes subjects or institutions, accountable for their actions, that make decisions under conditions of apparent uncertainty. Some apparent uncertainties, however, can be measured or quantified probabilistically and are, therefore, more precisely called… 

Nuclear safety by numbers. Probabilistic risk analysis as an evidence practice for technical safety in the German debate on nuclear energy

ABSTRACT The article explores the introduction of Probabilistic Risk Assessment (PRA) for nuclear energy in the two German states, the FRG and the GDR since the late 1960s. We argue that PRA - which

1773: France starts to discuss how to communicate risk

In this article, it is shown that in the late 1700s, savants were already discussing the best ways to talk to the public about risk and small probabilistic values – and specifically, about the hazards of an impact between comets and the Earth.

Making Sense of Risk—A Sociological Perspective on the Management of Risk

  • J. Taarup-Esbensen
  • Business
    Risk analysis : an official publication of the Society for Risk Analysis
  • 2019
This article describes how risk has been conceptualized in the business and organizational literature through four distinct transformations: from the techno‐scientific perspective to the cognitive,

A Figure of Merit: Quantifying the Probability of a Nuclear Reactor Accident

  • T. Wellock
  • Political Science
    Technology and culture
  • 2017
Probabilistic risk assessment has become an essential tool in risk analysis and management in many industries and government agencies, but the Report’s controversies endure in mistrust of PRA and its experts.

Disaster Risk Analysis Part 2: The Systemic Underestimation of Risk

Abstract How risk is defined, the nature of methodologies used to assess risk, and the degree to which rare events should be included in a disaster risk analysis, are important considerations when

Transformations in European Natural Hazard Management: There and Back Again

Today, technical natural hazard management represents the central mode of governance for coping with natural and man-made hazards in many parts of the world. In most European states, it is primarily

An Ontological and Semantic Foundation for Safety and Security Science

A coherent, standardized set of concepts and definitions that can be used as an ontological foundation for safety and security science, linking “objectives” with the concepts of safety, security, risk, performance and also failure and success is proposed, theoretically allowing for an increasingly more precise understanding and measurement of (un)safety across the whole range of individuals, sectors and organizations.

Technological Solutions and Contested Interpretations of Scientific Results: Risk Assessment of Diesel Emissions in the United States and in West Germany, 1977–1995

  • Christoph Neumaier
  • Environmental Science
    NTM Zeitschrift für Geschichte der Wissenschaften, Technik und Medizin
  • 2020
Light is shed on the triangular relationship between technology, science, and politics in regulatory processes by analyzing the different roles of the state, automakers, scientists, and environmental agencies in Germany and in the United States between 1977 and 1995.

Cost-Benefit Analysis

Every society is facing a number of risks and their regulation requires many considerations. From an economic standpoint, it can be said that risks impose a cost on society. Avoiding and regulating

Financial Risk Management and Sustainability – The Sufficiency Economy Philosophy Nexus

With the September 25th 2015 United Nations Resolution 70/1 “Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”, the case for integrating SUSTAINABILITY criteria at the heart of



A Disciplinary Perspective on the Epistemological Status of Risk

  • C. Althaus
  • Education
    Risk analysis : an official publication of the Society for Risk Analysis
  • 2005
It is suggested that the different disciplines can, and desirably should, act in concert toward a cumulative appreciation of risk that progresses the understanding of the concept.

Risk and Culture: An Essay on the Selection of Technical and Environmental Dangers

theory of the relationship between risk and culture; and (2) an application of the theory to explain "the sudden, widespread, across-theboard concern about environmental pollution and personal

Three decades of risk research: accomplishments and new challenges

Risk research over the last three decades has been focused on the development of methods of and procedures for risk analysis and risk management. As a consequence of this research, risk management

The Mutual Dependence of Risk Research and Political Context

If social studies of science are right in claiming that social and political contexts influence not only the rate and direction of scientific developments, but also dominant problem definitions and

Risk, Uncertainty and Profit

In Risk, Uncertainty and Profit, Frank Knight explored the riddle of profitability in a competitive market profit should not be possible under competitive conditions, as the entry of new

Risk governance

The term ‘governance’ has been used in political science to describe the multitude of actors and processes that lead to collective binding decisions. The term ‘risk governance’ involves the

Against the Gods

The Probabilistic revolution

This is a proposed revolution that is difficult to attribute to any one group of individuals, affected a wide range of fields rather than just one, and took the better part of a century before it was in place.

Risk Analysis and Risk Management: An Historical Perspective

This paper reviews the history of risk analysis and risk management, giving special emphasis to the neglected period prior to the 20th century. The overall objective of the paper is to: (1) dampen

Bridging the Two Cultures of Risk Analysis1,2

During the past 15 years, risk analysis has come of age as an interdisciplinary field of remarkable breadth, nurturing connections among fields as diverse as mathematics, biostatistics, toxicology,