Events : Economic, Development & Social Issues

Talk on "Perception and Acceptance of Public Risks" by Prof. V.S. Ramamurthy

Held on Wednesday, 9th May, 2012 at 6:30 pm

Bangalore International Centre had arranged a Talk on “Perception and Acceptance of Public Risks” by Prof. V.S. Ramamurthy, Director, The National Institute of Advanced Studies, on Wednesday, 9th May, 2012 at 6:30 pm. The talk was moderated by Prof. S.L. Rao, Member, Board of Governors, ISEC. In a scintillating and witty presentation, Prof. Ramamurthy tried to analyze how perceptions get formed in the minds of the people and in the minds of the decision-makers and how such perceptions get influenced by inadequate or inaccurate information. He gave the examples of Koodankulam Nuclear Power Project, the debate on Bt Brinjal and the controversy over the Mullaperiyar dam to show that perceptions between the public and the decision-makers often differ substantially on the cost-benefit-risk-analysis and that such differences are often the result of the fear of the unknown, lack of correct information, poor communication skills of the specialists to explain in laymen’s terms the salient features of new and emerging technologies and the over-hyped reactions of media to “break news”. He also drew attention to the fact that society in highly vulnerable to misinformation by “vested interests”. Prof. Ramamurthy’s suggestion was to encourage multi-disciplinary research on cost-benefit-risk analysis on public issues which can facilitate informed decision-making and greater public acceptance. The extremely thought-provoking talk was skillfully moderated by Prof. S.L. Rao.