How dangerous is smoking? What are the risks of nuclear power or of climate change? What are the chances of dying on an airplane? More importantly, how do we use this information once we have it? The demand for risk analysts who are able to answer such questions has grown exponentially in recent years. Yet programs to train these analysts have not kept pace. In this book, Daniel Kammen and David Hassenzahl address that problem. They draw together, organize, and seek to unify previously disparate theories and methodologies connected with risk analysis for health, environmental, and technological problems. They also provide a rich variety of case studies and worked problems, meeting the growing need for an up-to-date book suitable for teaching and individual learning.
The specific problems addressed in the book include order-of-magnitude estimation, dose-response calculations, exposure assessment, extrapolations and forecasts based on experimental or natural data, modeling and the problems of complexity in models, fault-tree analysis, managing and estimating uncertainty, and social theories of risk and risk communication. The authors cover basic and intermediate statistics, as well as Monte Carlo methods, Bayesian analysis, and various techniques of uncertainty and forecast evaluation. The volume's unique approach will appeal to a wide range of people in environmental science and studies, health care, and engineering, as well as to policy makers confronted by the increasing number of decisions requiring risk and cost/benefit analysis. Should We Risk It? will become a standard text in courses involving risk and decision analysis and in courses of applied statistics with a focus on environmental and technological issues.
"Daniel M. Kammen and David M. Hassenzahl have written a book that is essentially a well-annotated, comprehensive problem set for coursework or other training in risk assessment... [The authors] note that 'many people who ... must informally make decisions about risk ... learn the tools of the trade on the fly.' Should We Risk lt? goes a long way to provide training in problem solving for risk assessment."--Rebecca A. Efroymson, Endeavour "This book is highly recommended for those who practice risk analysis, and perhaps even more so, for those who earn their living making decisions based on risk analysis. It is especially recommended for anyone who wants to be provoked into thinking about the real world of the environment, health, and technology."--Jay Turim, Risk Analysis "Should We Risk It?, an exciting new text, explores the nature and the methods of risk analysis through a set of carefully selected, critically analyzed and clearly explained problems... [A] fascinating tour of the field."--John S. Evans, Science "This is a truly innovative and timely book that addresses the concepts of risk and its management from a problem-solving perspective... It leads the reader step-by-step through many of the dimensions of risk management."--Simon Gerrard, Environment