Exploring the Conceptual Link Between Risk and Sustainability
Professor Sandra Seno Alday, University of Sydney
9.50 am Wednesday
The 1987 United Nations (UN) Report of the World Commission on Environment and Development: Our Common Future (or the Brundtland Report) effectively raised awareness of sustainable development issues across disciplines and stakeholders. Following the report’s publication, the field of risk analysis responded rapidly to the call for greater sustainability in policy, practice, and scholarship. The response was embodied in the 1988 publication of work in the Risk Analysis journal exploring the role of risk science in promoting richer insights into sustainable development issues in developing countries. While explorations of sustainability issues have significantly increased over time and across disciplines, there remains significant scope to clarify the related constructs of sustainability and sustainable development. Both these concepts have successfully transformed themselves into so-called ‘boundary terms’: that is, they have simultaneously gained acceptance across fields while unusually remaining conceptually ambiguous. These characteristics have certainly given both terms the distinct advantage of effectively galvanizing support among multiple stakeholders that, at times, may have competing interests. However, scholars have begun to highlight the urgent need for greater conceptual clarity, if not across disciplines, then within individual disciplines. Conceptual clarity with a more robust theoretical grounding is critical in fostering theoretical advancements, which can better support development in policy and practice. This paper undertakes a preliminary investigation into how the concepts of risk and sustainability have been employed in the Risk Analysis journal from 1981 to 2022. The aim is to establish a starting point for subsequent theorizing on risk and sustainability.
Safeguarding National Digital Memory: Bayesian Network modelling of digital preservation risks
Martine J Barons, University of Warwick
9.50 am Thursday
Archives comprise primary sources, which may be physical, born-digital or digitised. Digital records have a limited lifespan through carrier degradation, software and hardware obsolescence and storage frailties. It is important that the original bitstream of these primary sources is preserved and can be demonstrated to have been preserved. Soft elicitation with experienced archivists was used to identify the most likely elements contributing to digital preservation success and failure and the relationships between these elements. A Bayesian Network representation of an integrating decision support system provided a compact representation of reality, enabling the risk scores for various scenarios to be compared using a linear utility function. Thus, the effect on the risk of various actions and interventions can be quantified. This tool, DiAGRAM, is now in use.