Skip to main content
placeholder image

Boyce Worthley Oration. ‘Drawing the line’: A risk communication perspective

Journal Article


Download full-text (Open Access)

Abstract


  • The paper represents a text version of the Australian Radiation Protection Society’s Boyce Worthley Oration,

    which I had the privilege of delivering in 2014. The purpose of the presentation was to address the issue of

    whether, from a risk communication perspective, enough radiation protection research had been conducted

    and it was time to ‘draw the line’. The paper addresses this issue by focusing on the radiofrequency (RF)

    risk communication domain, but is also applicable to radiation protection more generally. It fi rst provides

    a brief overview of both community concern about RF and the relative support from science regarding this

    concern, where it is argued that the science does not provide support for such concern. It then looks at some

    of the reasons for this discrepancy, and argues that it is due to the very complex, very ‘normal’ ways that

    humans process information and create meaning from it, but which consequently also leads to error and limits

    the applicability of specifi c communication strategies to the community more generally. Drawing the above

    conclusions together the paper then argues that regardless of how certain RF health research outcomes are

    or could in principle be in the future, there will remain a strong need to adapt to the complexity of people’s

    interpretation of the science, and that this will necessitate both further RF risk communication and RF basic

    science research; it concludes that no line can be drawn. On a more positive note the paper also looks at

    what risk communication is doing in the RF domain, and provides some practical advice aimed at improving

    risk communication outcomes.

Publication Date


  • 2015

Citation


  • Croft, R. J. (2015). Boyce Worthley Oration. ‘Drawing the line’: A risk communication perspective. Radiation Protection in Australasia, 32 (2), 2-10.

Ro Full-text Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=3229&context=sspapers

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/sspapers/2228

Number Of Pages


  • 8

Start Page


  • 2

End Page


  • 10

Volume


  • 32

Issue


  • 2

Place Of Publication


  • Australia

Abstract


  • The paper represents a text version of the Australian Radiation Protection Society’s Boyce Worthley Oration,

    which I had the privilege of delivering in 2014. The purpose of the presentation was to address the issue of

    whether, from a risk communication perspective, enough radiation protection research had been conducted

    and it was time to ‘draw the line’. The paper addresses this issue by focusing on the radiofrequency (RF)

    risk communication domain, but is also applicable to radiation protection more generally. It fi rst provides

    a brief overview of both community concern about RF and the relative support from science regarding this

    concern, where it is argued that the science does not provide support for such concern. It then looks at some

    of the reasons for this discrepancy, and argues that it is due to the very complex, very ‘normal’ ways that

    humans process information and create meaning from it, but which consequently also leads to error and limits

    the applicability of specifi c communication strategies to the community more generally. Drawing the above

    conclusions together the paper then argues that regardless of how certain RF health research outcomes are

    or could in principle be in the future, there will remain a strong need to adapt to the complexity of people’s

    interpretation of the science, and that this will necessitate both further RF risk communication and RF basic

    science research; it concludes that no line can be drawn. On a more positive note the paper also looks at

    what risk communication is doing in the RF domain, and provides some practical advice aimed at improving

    risk communication outcomes.

Publication Date


  • 2015

Citation


  • Croft, R. J. (2015). Boyce Worthley Oration. ‘Drawing the line’: A risk communication perspective. Radiation Protection in Australasia, 32 (2), 2-10.

Ro Full-text Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=3229&context=sspapers

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/sspapers/2228

Number Of Pages


  • 8

Start Page


  • 2

End Page


  • 10

Volume


  • 32

Issue


  • 2

Place Of Publication


  • Australia