Thu, Jan 10, 2013: Confronting a Nuclear Age: Risk Assessment in Technology, the Environment, Economics and Security

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Join us for a free public lecture at 3-5pm on January 10th, 2013 in Room 044 (east end of the building in the basement) at University College, 15 King’s College Circle, Toronto, ON by:

Metta Spencer


Risk Assessment in Technology, the Environment, Economics and Security

Planning in the nuclear age requires us to choose among various technological options that may threaten (or instead may benefit) the biosphere on which human health and security depend. We will consider the controversial assessment of risks and benefits—the direct biological impacts of nuclear weapons and nuclear energy and their indirect economic impacts on our high-energy civilization.

• Mary Douglas and Aaron Wildavsky, Risk and Culture (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1983), Ch1
• Charles Perrow, Normal Accidents. (New York: Basic Books, 1984). Available online as a Princeton E-book:
• Lee Clarke: “Politics and Bias in Risk Assessment,” The Social Science Journal, Volume 25, Issue 2, 1988, Pages 155–165.
• Beth Gardiner, “We’re All Climate-Change Idiots Now,” New York Times Sunday (Review), July 22, 2012, p. 12.
• Martin Daly and Margo Wilson, “Carpe Diem: Adaptation and Devaluing the Future,”
The Quarterly Review of Biology, Vol. 80, No. 1, March 2005

This lecture is part of the series Confronting a Nuclear Age which is co-sponsored by University College Health Studies Programme, Canadian Pugwash Group, Science for Peace and Voice of Women for Peace.


Metta Spencer is Professor Emeritus of Sociology, University of Toronto, President of Science for Peace and Editor-in-Chief of Peace Magazine . Visit for a full CV.

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