Playing it Safe:
Science and the Risk Society
Wednesday 17th March 2004, 7pm
International Centre for Life
Newcastle upon Tyne
Convened by: David O'Toole and
Chair: David O'Toole
Professor Roy Boyne, author
Risk (Concepts in the Social Sciences),
Subject, Society and Culture
John Gillott, co-author
Science and the Retreat from Reason
Professor Lynn Frewer, Chair of Food Safety
and Consumer Behaviour at the Marketing and Consumer Behaviour Group,
Phil Macnaghten, co-author
Contested Natures (Theory, Culture & Society)
Is there a case for caution where the outcome of scientific
and technological advances is uncertain?
It is hard to believe that only a short time ago the benefits of scientific progress were
taken for granted. Yet today, from nanotechnology to genetic engineering, from the
Internet to the mobile phone, the tendency is to consider the risks whenever a new
technology is developed. The precautionary principle urges us to err on the side of
caution when knowledge is uncertain, to consider the environment and to place a duty
of care on those who propose change. What are the consequences of this new way of
looking at the world? Is it possible to benefit from science without taking risks?
What are the dangers of playing it safe?
This session will examine risk, science and society and their relationship to ideas
such as the precautionary principle.
Come along, hear the arguments and have your say.
An Interview with Roy Boyne by Jon Bryan
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