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Lynn Frewer

Professor Lynn Frewer holds the Chair of Food Safety and Consumer Behaviour at the Marketing and Consumer Behaviour Group at Wageningen University. Her research interests include the psychology of risk perception, public reactions to genetic modification and other new technologies.

Lynn Frewer was on the panel at The Great Debate: Science and the Risk Society in March 2004.

Lynn Frewer says:

'Public perceptions of risk have often been dismissed on the basis of "irrationality" and have tended to be excluded from policy processes by risk assessors and managers. However, people’s responses to different risks are determined by psychological factors. In contrast, the technical risk estimates traditionally provided by experts do not influence people’s behaviours and responses in the same way as their risk perceptions. For example, a risk that people perceive to be involuntary in terms of their personal exposure is more threatening than one that they choose to take, even if the probability of harm is the same, or even less. Other concerns are very specific to particular hazard domains (for example, consider risk - and related - perceptions associated with transgenic organisms or endocrine disruptors). Risk communication with the public about a risk must take account of the actual concerns of the public (for example, potential for negative environmental impact, unintended human health effects, or vulnerable groups within the population). When the public want information about a risk, they prefer a clear message regarding risks and associated uncertainties, including the nature and extent of disagreements between different experts. Furthermore, societal priorities for risk mitigation activities may not align with those identified by expert groups. Dismissing the former as irrelevant may result in increased distrust in the motives of regulators and industry, with consequences for public confidence in regulatory activities linked to public protection. Awareness and understanding of public concerns is also the basis for the development of an effective risk communication strategy, as these concerns should be explicitly addressed as part of the communication process. These factors all have profound implications for the process of risk analysis, particularly at the present time where there is considerable institutional pressure to increase transparency in risk assessment and risk management.'

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Risk and Modern Society

The Earthscan Reader in Risk and Modern Society
Editors: Ragnar Löfstedt and Lynn Frewer

Most environmental questions turn on assessments of risk, and the far-reaching social implications of risk mean that risk analysis now reaches into many areas. This seminal collection combines technical risk literature with the social science analysis of risks and risk management in modern societies. In a superb, extensive introduction, the editors explain the major issues and develop an integrated framework in which risk research can be interpreted.

Food, People and Society Food, People and Society.
A European Perspective of Consumers' Food Choices

Lynn J. Frewer, Einar Risvik, Hendrik Schifferstein (Editors)

The Social Amplification of Risk The Social Amplification of Risk
Edited by Nick Pidgeon, Roger E. Kasperson, Paul Slovic

Risk Communication and Public Health Peter Bennett, Kenneth Calman (Editor)

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Useful Links books by Lynn Frewer


Allergy Matters! 2004 International Conference on Allergy Prevention: Wageningen, WICC, Feb 2004, The Netherlands

Media Reporting of Risk in the UK: The Content and Extent of Television and Newspaper Reports Dr. Lynn Frewer and Dr. Gene Rowe

When will the public accept the new biosciences? by Lynn Frewer

Government and scientists seriously underestimate consumers Lynn Frewer explains consumer behaviour to policy makers

Societal aspects of genetically modified foods Frewer, Lynn J.; Lassen, J.; Kettlitz, B.; Scholderer, Joachim; Beekman, V

Seminar on public attitudes research Agriculture and Environment Biotechnology Commission (AEBC)

The Next Big Thing, Vega Science Trust

The Realities of Risk, Vega Science Trust

The Next Big Thing: The Realities of Risk guests

The Next Big Thing - The Reality of Risk transcript

Developing and testing a toolkit for evaluating the success of public participation exercises Dr Lynn Frewer, Dr Gene Rowe, Roy Marsh and Catherine Reynolds

Public preferences for informed choice under conditions of risk uncertainty Lynn J. Frewer, Susan Miles, Mary Brennan, Sharon Kuznesof, Mitchell Ness and Christopher Ritson

Understanding patients' preferences for treatment: the need for innovative methodologies, L J Frewer, B Salter and N Lambert

Consumer Aspects of Public Understanding and Acceptance of Transgenic Animals

Understanding Risk: Public Perceptions, Trust in Institutions, and Stakeholder Participation in Public Policy , Second End Of Year Report (2002) to the Leverhulme Trust

Communicating about the risks and benefits of genetically modified foods. Effects of different information strategies, Lynn Frewer, Joachim Scholderer, Clive Downs and Lone Bredahl

The impact of social amplification of risk on risk communication

Plant and Forest Biotechnology: Risk Assessment and Evaluation Conference Report June 15th 2000

Risk Management Bookshelf

Dr Lynn Frewer, FOOD CHAIN 2001

Consumer acceptance of functional foods: Issues for the future by Lynn Frewer, Joachim Scholderer and Nigel Lambert

Experts fear public is losing faith in science, Business Today - South Africa 17 August 1999

Risky Business by Jo Belsten

Food scare hype proves hard to swallow, Financial Times - 11-Aug-1998

CONSUMING FEARS In Britain, doubts about science allow food scares to flourish, by Peta Firth


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