Pub. date: 2010 | Online Pub. Date: August 17, 2010 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412959216 | Print ISBN: 9781412959209 | Online ISBN: 9781412959216| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Risk analysis is the study and practice of how people deal with threats to humans and what they value. Communication is inherent in risk analysis, discussions of whether something is a threat, reports on how large a threat scientists or activists think it to be, or decision making on what, if anything, to do about it; communication is not restricted to messages between authorities (for example, government, business, scientists) and “the public,” although that is a common assumption among many professionals. Effective risk communication requires understanding other aspects of risk analysis, just as other aspects of risk analysis require understanding of communication to be effective. Threats covered by risk analysis are usually physical (for example, an invasive species, terrorism, or injury, illness, death, property damage, or ecological disruption due to natural disasters or chemical or microorganisms in the air, drinking water, or food). Physical threats were the focus of early ...