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Webinar: The Secondary Risk Society – Risk and Decision-Making in the 21st Century

August 14, 2020 @ 10:00 am - 11:00 am

Virtual Event

The Secondary Risk Society: Risk & Decision-Making in the 21st Century

Friday, August 14, 2020, 10 – 11 AM via Zoom. REGISTER >

Presented by the Genetic Engineering and Society (GES) Center at NC State University, the Society for Risk Analysis (SRA), and RTI International.

Speaker: Christopher L. Cummings, PhD, Senior Research Fellow, Genetic Engineering and Society Center, North Carolina State University

In the 21st century, scientific uncertainty and divisive communication plague traditional risk-response formats of communication where experts identify best options for mitigating risks and recommend behaviors to diminish people’s risk to hazards. Today, engaging in most any risk reducing behavior may create a new set of problems related to real or perceived risks. This creates new communication challenges when public discourse increasingly focuses on these “secondary” risks.

While risk perception theories have celebrated many decades of use, they do not account for individuals’ perceptions of potential harms posed by the recommended response itself. That it, current theories fail to answer the question, “What happens when the cure itself may be perceived of as a risk?”

This presentation reports on the new theoretical developments that founded Secondary Risk Theory which explains and predicts how risks are perceived today and provides contemporary examples and new data regarding COVID-19 vaccine responses and anticipated responses for solar radiation management technologies.

Christopher L. Cummings, PhD, serves as a Senior Research Fellow with the Genetic Engineering and Society Center at North Carolina State University and is the Founding Director of Decision Analytica, LLC. He currently is serving on a COVID-19 task force with the United States Army Corp of Engineers where he is evaluating and developing public health and risk models for use across various locations to allocate government resources to areas of imminent need. Previously, he was an Assistant Professor of Strategic Communication at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore—a top-ranked university in Asia and among the top 15 in the world where he also served as the Director of the International Strategic Communication Management program. Read more >


August 14, 2020
10:00 am - 11:00 am
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