SRA-E 2023 Panel discussions

The following panel discussions will take place:

Risk communication and risk management under the Covid 19 pandemic

Time: Monday

For over two years agencies, academics, regulators and politicians throughout the world were forced to come to terms with and then manage a new pandemic ranging from school closures, to lockdowns and encouraging citizens to socially distance and work remotely, to consider wearing face coverings, and to finally motivate the populace to become vaccinated.  From a broader risk analysis perspective Covid-19 hit all the buttons, from risk assessment, to risk communication and risk management.  To share insights in how the pandemic was handled in a number of countries we have assembled a distinguished panel (in order of speaking):

  • Prof Ann Bostrom, Uni of Washington: Overview on how the US handled the pandemic
  • Prof Nick Pidgeon, Uni Cardiff: Overview on how the UK handled the pandemic
  • Prof Anders Tegnell, Sweden’s Public Health Agency: Overview on how Sweden handled the pandemic
  • Amina Manzoor, Expressen (a nationwide multichannel newspaper in Sweden): How did public health agencies and others communicate the risks associated with the pandemic?
  • Prof Peter Ayton, Uni Leeds: Europe’s handling of the Covid pandemic-particularly the behavioural science response and the behavioural science policy input.
  • Prof Philip Gerlee, Chalmers and Uni Gothenburg: The potential of mathematical modelling to support policy during the pandemic.

Chair of the round table: Prof Ragnar Lofstedt, King’s College London

Climate adaptation: new risks or innovations for a sustainable future

Time: Tuesday

Climate adaptation is already necessary to manage risks created by climate change and will become even more crucial as emissions continue. Climate adaptation constitutes several challenges from both risk assessment and risk management perspectives. One challenge concerns what knowledge that is needed to assess risks, and another is what risks should be considered in the first place. Adaptation measures may, for instance, generate new risks that need consideration. That risk mitigation and governance is shared between public and private actors and between local and regional or national actors, might create such new risk. Such risks are often understood as maladaptation but can also take the form of unintended effects on areas unrelated to adaptation as such. Climate adaptation might instead be seen as a problem area with large possibilities for innovations that can contribute to a sustainable future. Such innovations could challenge the siloed political and administrative systems, by finding ways to interact over boundaries and consider different types of risks, playing out over different time horizons, together. Such innovations could reduce the risks of maladaptation and the generation of new risks, while also supporting the wider sustainable transformation. In this panel experts on climate adaptation, sustainability, and risk research, will discuss risks emanating from climate adaptation and how to navigate to instead increase the chances of innovations.


  • Suraje Dessai (School of Earth and Environment, University of Leeds)
  • Martin Drews (Technical University of Denmark, Climate and Disaster Risks)
  • Murray Scown (Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies (LUCSUS), Lund University)
  • Astrid Kause (Institute for Sustainability education and psychology, Leuphana)
  • Per Becker (Division of Risk Management and Societal Safety, Lund University)
  • Moderator: Åsa Knaggård (Department of Political Science, Lund University)

Does risk analysis have a future in Europe?

Time: Tuesday

Compared to twenty years ago, there seems to be less risk research being funded in Europe today. A reason might be the lack of replacement of retired senior risk professors with new talents. As a result, countries that had been at the forefront of risk research such as Sweden and to a certain extent the Netherlands had arguably lost their competitive edge. At the same time, there is a concern that several regulations coming out of Europe are not rooted in risk science. The European Green Deal is one such body of regulation that is very much based on hazard classifications and precautionary thinking. Is there a future for risk analysis in Europe? Is risk research actually in decline, or could it be that risk science is hidden in other types of research? In this round table, panellists will provide 5-10 minute interventions discussing their concerns about whether risk analysis has a future in Europe or not, by covering a wide range of risks and disciplines across all European regions.

Panel members:

  • Rui Gaspar, PhD, Universidade Católica Portuguesa, Risk Psychology
  • Frederic Bouder, Professor University of Stavanger, Risk Management
  • Robyn Wilson, Proffessor Ohio State University, Risk Analysis and Decision Science
  • Ullrika Sahlin, PhD, Lund University, Risk and Uncertainty Assessment
  • Nick Pidgeon, Professor University of Cardiff, Risk Perception and Environmental Risks
  • Tanja Perko, PhD, Belgian Nuclear Research Centre, Risk Communication

Moderator: Ragnar Löfstedt, Professor King's College London

Complexity, uncertainty and common sense

Time: Wednesday

We live in an ever more complex world and scientific experts face the challenging task to produce scientific advice and dealing with uncertainty. At the same time, people often have access to unprecedented amounts of information, just by picking their smartphone out of their pocket. For various reasons, the information we receive might be both restricted and manipulated, but also complex and time-consuming. How should we know when to trust the information we receive and which information that is worth our attention? One way is to use our common sense, suggested as a good way to deal with complexity and uncertainty. What do we mean by common sense and how does it relate to the production of scientific advice? What are the apparent risks of relying on common sense when digesting, but also producing information? What predicts common sense and can we, and should we, try to make people, including scientific experts, improve their common sense?

  • Prof Ortwin Renn, Risk Science, Research Institute for Sustainability, Helmholtz Centre Potsdam
  • Prof Peter Gärdenfors, Cognitive Science, Lund University
  • Prof Åsa Wikforss, Theoretical Philosophy, Stockholm University
  • Prof Terje Aven, Risk Science, University of Stavanger

Moderators: Henrik Thorén, Lund University and Marja Ylönen, University of Stavanger