Two different activities are required for determining how safe things are: measuring risk, an objective but probabilistic activity, and judging the acceptability of that risk, a matter of personal and social value judgement. Such decisions range from intensely personal to broadly social. Failure to appreciate how safety determinations resolve into two discrete activities is the root of many misunderstandings. Safety is a highly relative attribute that can change from time to time and can be judged differently in different contexts. The institutional organization, personal roles and distributed powers are not fully addressed.

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  • Supplemental Notes:
    • This article is an excerpt from "Of Acceptable Risk: Science and the Determination of Safety", William W. Lowrance, in consultation with the Panel on Science and the Determination of Safety; Committee on Science and Public Policy, National Academy of Sciences. William Kaufmann publisher.
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    National Academy of Sciences

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  • Authors:
    • Lowrance, W W
  • Publication Date: 0

Media Info

  • Pagination: p. 14-15
  • Serial:
    • News Report
    • Volume: 26
    • Issue Number: 8
    • Publisher: National Research Council
    • ISSN: 0027-8432

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00135214
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jun 23 1976 12:00AM