Faulty environments and risk reasoning: The local understanding of industrial hazards

Irwin, A, Simmons, P and Walker, G (1999) Faulty environments and risk reasoning: The local understanding of industrial hazards. Environment and Planning A, 31 (7). pp. 1311-1326. ISSN 0308-518X

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Building upon a detailed empirical analysis of the local understanding of hazards in one geographical area, in this paper we offer a critique of both the psychometric and ‘risk society’ approaches to the relationship between lay and scientific groups. Specifically, we explore the connection between lay understandings of risk and the contexts of their development and application with regard to one industrial hazard site in northeast England. Rather than presenting local knowledges as fixed or separable from cultural practices and social worldviews, we examine the relational and active construction of environmental understandings—noting the significance of such factors as local memory, observation and evidence, definitions of expertise, risk and credibility, and moral discourses. The paper concludes with a discussion of the relationship between knowledge, understanding, and context. We also consider the wider significance of this case study both for environmental policy and for more theoretical treatments of science and its publics.

Item Type: Article
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Science > School of Environmental Sciences
UEA Research Groups: Faculty of Science > Research Groups > Science, Society and Sustainability
Faculty of Science > Research Groups > Resources, Sustainability and Governance (former - to 2018)
Depositing User: Peter Simmons
Date Deposited: 08 Mar 2011 09:43
Last Modified: 16 Jul 2024 17:30
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/21335
DOI: 10.1068/a311311

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