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Results of a National Symposium on Risk Communication: Next Steps for Government Agencies

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Abstract:

A national symposium of risk communication practitioners and researchers was held in 1994 to discuss next steps to improve government agencies’risk communication practices. The symposium focused on three issues which a survey of researchers and practitioners indicated were priorities for risk communication research: integrating outside concerns into agency decision‐making; communicating with communities of different races, ethnic backgrounds and incomes; and evaluation of risk communication. There are indications that the working assumptions underlying these issues are shifting in several distinctive ways. For example, a shift from simply communicating risk to forging partnerships with communities was clearly evident throughout the symposium. Communicating with different social, ethnic, and racial groups gained recognition as a vital component of the risk communication research agenda. Agencies themselves should be the subject of study, according to many symposium participants who were concerned less about the so‐called irrationality of the public and more about the reluctance of agencies to encourage risk communication.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1539-6924.1995.tb00306.x

Affiliations: Center for Environmental Communication, Rutgers University, Cook College, P.O. Box 231, New Brunswick, New Jersey 08903.

Publication date: April 1, 1995

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