SETAC Globe - Environmental Quality Through Science
19 March 2015
Volume 16 Issue 3
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SETAC Supports SRA World Congress on Risk

Robin Cantor, SRA World Congress Program Committee

SETAC is a sponsor of the fourth World Congress on Risk being held in Singapore from 19-23 July 2015 under the auspices of the Society for Risk Analysis (SRA). The meeting will bring together international risk analysts and practitioners from around the world. It is the fourth in a series of world congresses that are designed as systematic, important steps in the continued development of the field of risk analysis, related applications and a worldwide network of researchers, community stakeholders and decision-makers. In partnership with other professional societies and organizations, the SRA launched the first of this series in Brussels in 2003 and subsequently has held additional congresses in Guadalajara, Mexico, in 2008 and Sydney, Australia, in 2012.

The theme for the 2015 World Congress on Risk is “Risk Analysis for Sustainable Innovation.” Conference co-chairs are Ortwin Renn, University of Stuttgart, Germany, and former SRA President Jukka Takala, Workplace Safety and Health Institute, Singapore. Subcommittee chairs are Robin Cantor, Berkeley Research Group (Finance); Igor Linkov, U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center (Program); and Michael Riediker, SAFENANO, IOM Singapore (Local Organizing, Outreach and Publicity).

By selecting the “Risk Analysis for Sustainable Innovation” theme, SRA is focusing attention on risks of importance to developing and developed countries in a rapidly changing world of technological options. Technological evolution, growing interconnectedness between technology, science, economics and society, and the need for a global balance between resource conservation, economic prosperity and social equity have elevated the importance of sustainable innovation. National development policies and commercial strategies not only depend on scientific advances in the natural, technical and social sciences but also their sound implementation for efficient production, effective governance and improved quality of life. Evidence-based risk assessment and risk management are central to the process of sustainable innovation as rapid development-driven social and environmental changes often exacerbate the physical and social burdens placed on the world’s most vulnerable nations and peoples. The conference will address risk management from the global to the community scale. The general theme of sustainable innovation will engage risk analysts on public health, environment, agriculture, engineering, economics, communication, law and policy, and beyond.

In collaboration with the international SRA, participating organizations for the 2015 World Congress on Risk currently include not only SETAC but also SRA-Japan, SRA-Europe, SRA-Australia/New Zealand, SRA-Russia, SRA-Latin America, SRA-Korea, Workplace Safety and Health Institute in Singapore, the European Virtual Risk Institute (EUVri), the SV Foundation for Environmental Risk and Natural Disaster Management, INERIS, Center for Risk Science Innovation and Application of the ILSI Research Foundation, American Chemistry Council, INFORMS Decision Analysis Society, American Society of Civil Engineers, Nanyang Technological University, University of New South Wales, George Washington University and Bosch Worldwide. Additional groups are being encouraged to join as the planning proceeds.

The world congress will consist of meetings over a three-day period from 20–22 July, with an opening reception on the evening of 19 July. Each of the three days will begin with a plenary session to launch a set of issues on a “subtheme.” The plenary talk will be followed by breakout sessions, some of which will continue the daily subtheme. The subthemes are:

  1. Risk and Resilience
  2. Emerging Risks
  3. Technological Innovation and Sustainability

The Program Subcommittee is also encouraging participation in poster presentations, which will be displayed for the duration of the meeting. SRA believes poster presentations facilitate participation by junior and developing country researchers. These sessions will also provide substantial networking opportunities for participants as they will be held during buffet luncheons each day of the world congress.

Participation by developing country researchers and practitioners is critically important to the overall success of the 2015 World Congress on Risk. Providing the opportunity for meaningful participation of developing countries is a primary goal of the overall World Congress on Risk series. In this regard, organizers expect the meetings to be a significantly different experience from the regular annual meetings of risk-related professional societies. In particular, the World Congress series emphasizes international diversity of speakers and attendees, and it will give deliberate attention to sharing information and methods across countries to help address high priority risk management issues.

To ensure broad participation at the 2015 World Congress on Risk by researchers and practitioners from critical communities, such as those in developing countries, SRA has been raising funds to support participants with travel and lodging stpipends for:

  1. Junior faculty or researchers
  2. Participants from developing countries

To be eligible for a travel stipend, an award candidate must satisfy one of the following criteria:

  1. Live in one of the countries eligible for borrowing from the World Bank or
  2. Be no more than seven years beyond obtaining a PhD or other terminal degree preparing one as a researcher or practitioner in one of the fields related to risk analysis

For those who receive travel awards, SRA will waive the registration fee and, in addition, will provide one-year society memberships without charge to participants from developing countries.

For more information on the program and registration, please see www.sra.org/worldcongress2015.

The International Society for Risk Analysis (SRA) is a worldwide professional and scientific society of experts on risk assessment, risk management and risk communication. SRA, established in 1981, addresses all types of risks, including health, safety, environmental, security, and economic risks. The organization currently has 2000 members worldwide, more than 20 regionally focused organizations throughout the world, and 14 specialty groups focused on particular risk topics.

Author’s contact information: rcantor@thinkbrg.com

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