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The contribution of different types of knowledge towards understanding, sharing and communication risk concepts

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Risks represent threats to what humans value. The link between risk as a mental concept and reality is forged through the experience of actual harm (the consequence of risk). The invention of risk as a mental construct is contingent upon the belief that human action can prevent or at least mitigate harm. Based on this implicit normative goal it is important to collect the best available knowledge about the sequences that could lead to harm. The major claim of this article is that, in addition to systematic modelling of causes and potential effects revealed by scientific investigations, experiential, tacit and intuitive knowledge can contribute to a better understanding as well as management of risk. Providing platforms for communication between and among the carriers of these four knowledge types, and structuring a mutual learning process should be a major target in the design of risk communication programmes.
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Keywords: complexity; uncertainty and ambiguity in risk; cooperation between science and society; experiential and intuitive knowledge; inclusive risk governance; systematic and tacit knowledge

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Stuttgart University.

Publication date: 2010-11-01

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  • The Catalan Journal of Communication and Cultural Studies (CJCS) is committed to publishing research and theoretical articles in the fields of media studies, popular culture and cinema, public relations and advertising studies, social communication, new media, language uses in the media, communication and cultural policies, social and national identities, gender studies, sports and leisure, tourism and heritage, among other related issues. CJCS publishes double blind peer-reviewed articles and its aims and scope cover not only Catalan media and cultural systems but also other social contexts.
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