SRA Policy on Promoting Risk Science in Decision Making


The Society for Risk Analysis, as an international scientific society, integrates knowledge across risk disciplines and draws from systematic investigation and applied experience to share science, foster debate and discussion, and expand professional networks. It also provides platforms (e.g., journal, annual meeting) to share knowledge. Here, we address the role of SRA in sharing, disseminating, and advocating for risk science in decision-making. SRA’s charge is to promote the role of risk science in decision-making and be actively engaged in translating risk science to
policy and other decision makers. Recognizing the complexity of the science and the values involved in many critical issues, SRA should not make policy recommendations or recommend specific solutions to societal problems. In advocating for the use of risk science, SRA may publish documents (e.g., mini-reports, policy toolkits, research briefs) that elaborate on how risk science can be used to evaluate alternative solutions to societal challenges. In other words, SRA should advocate for rigorous, appropriate methods and science in policy analysis, as opposed to advocating for a specific policy or solution1. In rare cases, SRA may endorse a specific policy or solution with Council approval. Such endorsement would be appropriate only when the complex participatory process of engaging the full range of experts, stakeholders, and citizens for consensus building has taken place2 and a specific solution is supported by analysis that is consistent with the best practices of risk analysis3. In such cases, care should be taken to provide a platform for dialogue that incorporates a diverse range of views to minimize potential biases4.

  1. See Aven (2022) for a more detailed discussion of the role of risk science in policy analysis and the distinction between analysis and management, or science and politics.
  2. In line with the IRGC Framework for Risk Management and NASEM policy consensus building policies and procedures.
  3. The SRA Risk Analysis Quality tool provides guidelines on ensuring that analysis follows the best practices of the discipline.
  4. Potential biases include, but are not limited to, gender, racial, ethnic, geographic, and disciplinary.