HOW MANY COUNTRIES ARE READY FOR NUCLEAR-POWERED ELECTRICITY?

A new study in the journal Risk Analysis suggests that countries representing more than 80 percent of potential growth in low-carbon electricity demand—in Asia, the Middle East, and North Africa—may lack the economic or institutional quality to deploy nuclear power to meet their energy needs. The authors suggest that if nuclear power is to safely expand its role in mitigating climate change, countries need to radically improve their ability to manage the technology.

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THE POTENTIAL ECONOMIC IMPACT OF VOLCANO ALERTS

The Volcano Alert Level (VAL) system, standardized by the United States Geological Survey (USGS) in 2006, is meant to save lives and keep citizens living in the shadow of an active volcano informed of their current level of risk. A new study published in Risk Analysis suggests that, when an alert remains elevated at any level above “normal” due to a period of volcanic unrest, it can cause a decline in the region’s housing prices and other economic indicators. Because of this, the authors argue that federal policymakers may need to account for the effects of prolonged volcanic unrest — not just destructive eruptions — in the provision of disaster relief funding.

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HOW COULD RISING SEA LEVEL IMPACT THE NATIONAL FLOOD INSURANCE PROGRAM?

Insurance policy premiums from the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) allow policyholders to maintain a lower, grandfathered rate even when the risk escalates. But as coastal flooding increases due to rising sea level and more intense storms, new research published in the journal Risk Analysis suggests this grandfathered policy could lead to big losses for the NFIP.

A team of experts led by Carolyn Kousky, executive director of the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton Risk Management and Decision Processes Center, studied the effect of sea level rise on a New York City neighborhood to illustrate how grandfathered rates could impact both policyholder premiums and program revenue for the NFIP over the next 30 years. Their results project losses to the NFIP as flood risk grows in the coming decades.

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WHAT MOTIVATES NATURAL RESOURCE POLICYMAKERS IN AFRICA TO TAKE ACTION ON CLIMATE CHANGE?

Climate services are vital tools for decision makers addressing climate change in developing countries. Science-based seasonal forecasts and accompanying materials can support climate risk management in agriculture, health, water management, energy, and disaster risk reduction.

But in East Africa, natural resource managers have been slow to use climate information services, partly because they are difficult to understand and may not feel relevant for their local planning purposes. A new study published by the journal Risk Analysis suggests that one way to encourage policymakers in East Africa to use climate services more often is to appeal to the motivational factors that influence their professional actions on climate change.

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GLOBAL POLIOVIRUS RISK MANAGEMENT AND MODELING

Launched in 1988, the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) stands out as one of the largest, internationally coordinated global public health major projects conducted to date, with cumulative spending of over $16.5 billion for 1988–2018, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). More than 30 years later, stubborn outbreaks of wild poliovirus still occur in Afghanistan and Pakistan, where cases have been increasing since 2018. The global eradication of polio continues to be an elusive goal.

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TAKING THE FEAR OUT OF DRIVER EDUCATION

New drivers between the ages of 15 and 25 account for nearly half of the more than one million road deaths that occur worldwide each year, according to the World Health Organization. Educational programs often use fear-based messaging and films of crash scenes to reduce risky driving behavior among young people. But does this “scary” approach work?

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Fourteen Honored by Society for Risk Analysis

Over the course of its virtual Annual Meeting, the Society for Risk Analysis (SRA) awarded six prestigious scholarly and service awards and named seven new Fellows. These awards recognize 14 individuals for their outstanding contributions to the society and to the science of risk analysis. The recipients were nominated by their peers, selected by a committee of SRA members and approved by the SRA Council.

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Society for Risk Analysis Announces Its New 2021 Council

During its virtual Annual Meeting, the Society for Risk Analysis (SRA) announced the addition of five new Council members and the rise of Robyn Wilson Ph.D., The Ohio State University, as the new President of its 2021 Council. Wilson succeeds Seth Guikema, Ph.D., University of Michigan, who has completed his term and will continue to serve on the Council as past-president.

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Two New Studies Offer Ways to Avert Accidents and Workplace Injuries for American Workers

Human error is a causal factor in up to 80 percent of workplace accidents. A new study measuring the eye movements and cognitive processes for at-risk workers, sheds new light on the potential to avert accidents and possibly prevent workplace injuries. The study “Measuring attention, working memory, and visual perception to reduce risk of injuries in the construction industry,” by Behzad Esmaeili, Ph.D., George Mason University challenges the conventional, reactionary paradigm of safety-risk management.

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Drinking Water Significant Source of Microplastics in Human Diet

In an effort to understand the potential risks associated with exposure to micro/nanoplastics, the Emerging Risks of Micro/nanoplastics: Perspectives From Diverse Sectors symposia at the 2020 Society for Risk Analysis virtual Annual Meeting, December 13-17, 2020, aims to highlight the current state of knowledge associated with physical and chemical transformation, hazard characterization, environmental effects, social implications and policy limitations.  

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Beyond the Illness: How COVID-19 is Negatively Impacting Those Who are not Infected

The pandemic has impacted farmers, children, plant workers and even office workers in unique ways that go beyond physical illness. Several studies that explore these individualized effects will be presented during the Individual Impacts of Global Pandemic Risks session and the COVID-19: Risk Communication and Social Dynamics of Transmission and Vulnerability symposia, both from 2:30-4:00 p.m. ET on December 15, at the 2020 Society for Risk Analysis virtual Annual Meeting, December 13-17, 2020.

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Who’s to Blame? How the Media Has Shaped Public Understanding of the COVID-19 Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S. has been characterized by rapidly changing information, a high degree of uncertainty, and conflicting information about transmission, vulnerability and mitigation methods. Several studies focused on public perceptions of the pandemic and the impact of media will be presented during two sessions on December 15, from 2:30-4:00 during the Society for Risk Analysis virtual Annual Meeting, December 13-17, 2020.

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3D Printers May Be Toxic for Humans

Several studies that aim to characterize and quantify the release and composition, particle size, and residence time in the indoor environment will be presented in the Exposure and Risk Assessment of 3D Printing and Emerging Materials symposium on December 15, from 12:00-1:30 p.m. ET at the 2020 Society for Risk Analysis virtual Annual Meeting held December 13-17, 2020.

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Presidential roundtable discussion: How do we restore science to policy making? Presidential roundtable discussion: How do we restore science to policy making?

Restoring science in the White House is the topic of the presidential roundtable discussion at that the Society for Risk Analysis’ (SRA) Virtual Annual Meeting, on Thursday, December 17 from 12:00 – 1:30 p.m. ET.

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USDA Says Current Poultry Food Safety Guidelines Do Not Stop Salmonella Outbreaks

Current poultry food safety guidelines for Salmonella, the leading cause of foodborne illness outbreaks, are inadequate. A new study conducted by Thomas Oscar, USDA Agricultural Research Service, “Salmonella prevalence alone is not a good indicator of poultry food safety,” published in Risk Analysis, explores additional factors that must be considered in order to identify poultry products that are truly safe for human consumption.

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First-of-its-kind Collateral Risk Education Series Launches Sept. 14

Clifford Rossi, formerly a risk executive for the likes of Citi and Countrywide, directs an online series at the intersections of mortgage collateral valuation and risk management. Vigilance against deficiency in this area, he says, “is particularly critical as markets are supply constrained and getting the appraisal right is essential.”

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Rutgers Expert Can Discuss New Home and Property Flood Risk Data

New Brunswick, N.J. (June 29, 2020) – Rutgers University–New Brunswick professor Robert E. Kopp is available for interviews on new flood risk data for more

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Study Finds Breathing and Talking Contribute to COVID-19 Spread

Current knowledge about the role of aerosols in the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 warrants urgent attention. Current guidance and public health information has slowly shifted focus towards aerosols as a transmission pathway – predominantly associated with breathing and talking by asymptomatic individuals. Providing guidelines for sufficient inhalation protection will be important in curbing the spread of COVID-19.

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Is the Coronavirus Outbreak of Unnatural Origins?

Did coronavirus mutate from a virus already prevalent in humans or animals or did it originate in a laboratory? As scientists grapple with understanding the source of this rapidly spreading virus, the Grunow-Finke assessment tool (GFT) may assist them with determining whether the coronavirus outbreak is of natural or unnatural origins.

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Coronavirus – study finds methods for preventing global disease spread through airports

As coronavirus spreads across the globe via infected air travelers, authorities are looking for ways to contain the outbreak and avoid a pandemic. This study, published in Risk Analysis, analyzes the impact of implementing disease mitigation strategies at airports across the globe. The study finds that increasing traveler engagement with proper hand-hygiene at all airports has the potential to reduce the risk of a potential pandemic by 24-69 percent. The researchers also identify ten critical airports, central to the air-transportation network. If hand-washing mitigation strategies are implemented in just these ten locations, the pandemic risk can drop by up to 37 percent.

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Risk Analysis Powers Air Pollution Solutions

Air pollution exposure threatens human health both outdoors and when polluted air infiltrates homes, offices, schools and vehicles. Exposure to certain particulate matter can cause respiratory, cardiovascular and nervous system issues, especially in vulnerable populations. Several presentations at the 2019 Society for Risk Analysis (SRA) Annual Meeting will explore new ways to measure and track air pollutants to reduce public health risk.

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Reducing Wildfire Risks for Better Management and Resource Allocation

As wildfires become deadlier, larger and more expensive, there is strong interest in better risk governance. Managing future wildfire risk requires an interface between human decision processes and knowledge about climate trends related to fire, as well as humans’ abilities to anticipate wildfire potential and mitigation approaches are critical. Several presentations at the 2019 Society for Risk Analysis (SRA) Annual Meeting will explore analyses of past fire seasons, projections for the future and approaches for decision making aimed at mitigating risk.

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Twelve Honored by Society for Risk Analysis

Today, the Society for Risk Analysis (SRA) awarded six prestigious scholarly and service awards and named six new Fellows at its Annual Meeting in Arlington, Virginia. These awards recognize 12 individuals for their outstanding contributions to the society and to the science of risk analysis. The recipients were selected by a committee of SRA past presidents and approved by the SRA Council.

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Society for Risk Analysis Announces Its New 2020 Council

During its Annual Meeting, the Society for Risk Analysis (SRA) announced the addition of five new Council members and the rise of Seth Guikema, Ph.D., University of Michigan, as the new President of its 2020 Council. Guikema succeeds Katherine McComas, Ph.D., Cornell University, who has completed her term and will continue to serve on the Council as past-president.

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Society for Risk Analysis Announces 2019 Winners for Best Journal Papers and Best Research Posters

The Society for Risk Analysis (SRA) is pleased to announce the winners for best papers in Risk Analysis: An International Journal and the best research posters for 2019. The editorial staff of Risk Analysis selected the 2019 Best Paper award winners. These papers made the most significant impacts on the theory or practice of risk analysis. Judges, as well as members of the society via popular vote, selected the poster winners during the meeting’s annual poster session the evening prior.

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Natural Toxins in the Global Food Supply Continue to Threaten the Health of Underprivileged Communities

Naturally occurring chemicals in the global food supply are known to pose a burden on worldwide health. New studies have found that a certain foodborne toxin, in addition to its known health effects,, is also linked to vaccine resistance, and for the first time the global burden of disease from foodborne arsenic, lead, cadmium, and methyl mercury has been quantified.. The Society for Risk Analysis (SRA) will present new studies as part of its Global Disease Burden Caused by Foodborne Chemicals and Toxins symposium on Monday, Dec. 9 from 1:30-3:00 p.m. as part of its 2019 Annual Meeting at the Crystal Gateway Marriott in Arlington, Virginia. This symposium will provide updates to a 2015 World Health Organization (WHO) publication which analyzed the disease burdens caused by these toxins.

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STRATEGIES TO LOWER RISK FOR VIOLENT CRIME AND GUN VIOLENCE

With violent crimes and gun violence rising annually and the number of gun deaths in the U.S. surpassing all other nations, researchers at the annual meeting of The Society for Risk Analysis (SRA) present a series of studies during its Study of Violent Crime and Gun Violence symposium which contributes several new frameworks that can be used toward improving laws, civilian strategies, legislation and police response, as well as the overall study of risk in society. The Symposium will occur on Monday, December 9 at 10:30 at the Crystal Gateway Marriott in Arlington, Virginia.

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