An Emerging New Risk Analysis Science: Foundations and Implications

Risk Analysis          
Volume 38, Issue 5  Pages: 869-1103  May 2018

Original Research Articles
Open Access
An Emerging New Risk Analysis Science: Foundations and Implications
Terje Aven
Pages: 876-888
First Published: 07 September 2017
To solve real‐life problems—such as those related to technology, health, security, or climate change—and make suitable decisions, risk is nearly always a main issue. Different types of sciences are often supporting the work, for example, statistics, natural sciences, and social sciences. Risk analysis approaches and methods are also commonly used, but risk analysis is not broadly accepted as a science in itself. A key problem is the lack of explanatory power and large uncertainties when assessing risk. This article presents an emerging new risk analysis science based on novel ideas and theories on risk analysis developed in recent years by the risk analysis community. It builds on a fundamental change in thinking, from the search for accurate predictions and risk estimates, to knowledge generation related to concepts, theories, frameworks, approaches, principles, methods, and models to understand, assess, characterize, communicate, and (in a broad sense) manage risk. Examples are used to illustrate the importance of this distinct/separate risk analysis science for solving risk problems, supporting science in general and other disciplines in particular.