Written for engineers, scientists, professors and students, land use planners, public health practitioners, communication specialists, consultants, and regulators, the revised sixth edition of Risk Communication is the must-have guide for professionals who communicate risks. Regina E. Lundgren is an independent consultant in risk communication, public involvement, and science and strategic communication. For more than 30 years, she has specialized in communicating environmental, safety, and health risks to lay audiences. You can learn more at her website at is a communication specialist at the U.S. Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, Washington. For more than 30 years, she has directed, taught, advised on, and carried out the communication of scientific, technical, and risk-related information.
Risk communication encompasses many types of messages and processes. It is the poster warning food workers to handle food safely to prevent the spread of Escherichia coli bacteria. It is the emergency response worker rallying a community to evacuate in the middle of the rising flood. It is the community representatives sitting down with industry to discuss the siting and operation of a hazardous waste incinerator. Risk communication involves people in all walks of life-parents, children, legislative representatives, regulators, scientists, farmers, industrialists, factory workers, and writers. It is part of the science of risk assessment and the process of risk management.
Risk communication involves people in all walks of life-parents, children, legislative representatives, regulators, scientists, farmers, industrialists, factory workers, and writers. It is part of the science of risk assessment and the process of risk management.
This book was written for those who communicate health, safety, and environmental risks, primarily the following:
The communication professionals who prepare the messages, coach the speakers, and facilitate public involvement
The scientists, engineers, and health care professionals who must communicate the results of risk assessments
The organization representatives who must present a risk management decision
Those new to the field of risk communication and anyone being asked to communicate risk for the first time
Because each of these readers may have different needs and questions concerning risk communication, we have divided the book into five parts. Each part or chapter within a part is relatively self-contained; a reader can choose to read some chapters and to skip others of less interest. Part I gives background information necessary to understand the basic theories and practices of risk communication and provides a basis for understanding information in the other parts. Part II tells how to plan a communication effort. Part III gives guidance on using various methods of communicating risk. Part IV discusses how to evaluate risk communication efforts, including how to measure success. Part V offers advice on special cases in risk communication: emergencies, public health campaigns, and international communication. A list of additional resources, a glossary, and an index are also provided. To emphasize key points, each chapter concludes with a summary section. Chapters that discuss how to apply risk communication (as opposed to those that deal with more theoretical aspects like principles and ethics) end with a checklist, which can be used to help plan and develop your risk communication efforts.
Much of our research and theory discussions, case studies, and recommendations draw from U.S. experiences, because that is our area of greatest familiarity. However, many of the risk communication principles we describe also apply to other countries. Readers will also find, sprinkled throughout the book, examples of country-specific risk communication research, successes, and pitfalls. Chapter 23 , International Risk Communication, offers considerations for risk communicators outside of the United States and those who must address multi-country risks.
Many of the terms used in this book are defined in ways that differ slightly from usage in other branches of science or communication. A glossary is provided, but as a beginning, we want to explain exactly what we mean by risk communication and how it differs from other forms of technical communication.
Technical communication is the communication of scientific or technical information. Audiences can range from children in a sixth-grade science class, to workers learning a new procedure on a piece of equipment, to scientists reviewing the work of peers. The purpose of