Value Assumptions in Risk Assessment
A Case Study of the Alachlor Controversy
Selected by Choice as one of the outstanding publications for 1991.
Are risk debates disputes between those who accept the findings of science and those who do not? Between good and bad science? Or is it possible that opposing assessments of risk, by scientific experts as well as ordinary citizens, reflect and are guided by dominant values held by the assessors? The following analysis of one of these debates supports the latter view. In it we suggest what those dominant values are, how they work within a risk assessment, and some implications of reconceiving risk debates as primarily debates about values.
- Commended, Outstanding Academic Title, Choice 1991
"Any of us who have been involved in decision-making processes that involve risk assessment will immediately recognize the similarities between this example and our own experiences. It is very valuable to have this illuminating case study so thoroughly presented to us."- John Jackson, Alternatives, Vol. 19, No. 2, 1993
"Highly recommended for college and university libraries, and for technology-based entrepreneurs and their regulators."- T.R. Blackburn, Choice