The Duke Center on Risk in Science & Society is a multidisciplinary collaboration focused on improving society’s capacity to analyze, anticipate, mitigate, and adapt to risks. Hosted at Duke’s Initiative for Science & Society, the Center on Risk builds on the university’s already significant risk‐related teaching and scholarship by fostering new partnerships across campus including the schools of engineering, law, policy, business, environment, medicine, nursing, and arts and sciences, as well as institutes and initiatives. More than 30 faculty have indicated interest so far.
We seek to develop innovative methods, technologies, policies, and practices to confront the risks faced by society, both familiar and emerging, including, e.g., climate change, pollution, pandemic disease, food safety, cyber‐attacks, financial shocks, accidents, and terrorism. Key research topics include:
Extreme catastrophic risks: How do people perceive, gauge, and respond to risks with very low probability and catastrophic consequences, and how should this influence decision-making?
Interconnectedness, complexity, and tradeoffs: How can we better manage ancillary impacts – risk-risk tradeoffs such as co-benefits and countervailing harms – in complex, interconnected systems?
Ambiguity and deep uncertainty: How can society assess and plan for risks for which the causal mechanisms and probabilities of occurrence are poorly understood?
Resilience and adaptation: How can organizations develop resilient systems that dynamically adjust to new information, effectively recover from shocks, and respond positively to new opportunities?
Learning and adaptive regulation: How can regulatory systems be designed to keep up with evolving science, technology, and values, and incorporate learning to review and improve policies over time?
We are working to grow an intellectual community that shares interests in risk by: