RISK: Health, Safety & Environment (1990-2002)


Drs. Flynn and Slovic compare and evaluate the ways in which the public and experts perceive technological risks.

Repository Citation

James Flynn & Paul Slovic, Expert and Public Evaluations of Technological Risks: Searching for Common Ground, 10 RISK 333 (1999).


We are sorry that James Flynn & Paul Slovic, Expert and Public Evaluations of Technological Risks: Searching for Common Ground, 10 Risk 333 (1999) contained several errors. For example, in Figure 5, at 342, "tree sare" and "relaying" in the next-to-last item should have read, respectively, "trees are" and "relying." Also, Table 1, at 348 would have benefited from a reference to QA and QB, as defined earlier at 346, and the title of Figure 10, at 352, should have read: "Differences in Perceived Health Risks... by Gender." One paragraph was inadvertently omitted: Figure 8 shows 22 conditions, activities, or procedures that might be used in programs of forest vegetation management. The forestry professionals were more supportive than the public for nearly all the practices listed. The greatest differences were on items the public found most unacceptable. The gap with the public was greatest for the industry foresters, followed by the government foresters, and then the biologists. Government and industry foresters differed from the public on 20 and 17 of the 22 items, respectively. Biologists differed with the public on 12 items. Forestry professionals tended to express less concern than the public about environmental problems and protection of other species. They were more trusting of science and government. They thought there was less risk to forestry activities and practices than did the public. Industry foresters tended to differ most from the public, followed by government foresters and then government biologists. Of statistical consequence, the first full sentence at 353 should have read: "Notice that non-white males and females are not significantly different in their risk evaluations, and they are quite similar to white females." Finally, Figures 1-9 and 12 as originally submitted contained generally vertical lines connecting data points corresponding to each of the several groups compared therein. However, believing, e.g., that distinct symbols are alone adequate, Professor Field omitted them.