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Risk Communication, Overview

Risk communication involves creating shared understanding about uncertain loss or danger. This mul-tidisciplinary field emerged in the 1970s and 1980s. In those decades, members of the public, scientists, engineers, corporate leaders, and government officials were coping with Love Canal, a Niagara Falls, New York, neighborhood where 21,000 tons of toxic waste was discovered buried beneath neighborhood homes; the Three Mile Island nuclear accident in Pennsylvania; and the Bhopal, India, disaster, where thousands died from accidental release of hazardous chemicals. These situations made vivid the need for research on how communication about hazards does and should occur.

Multidisciplinary Field

Risk communication research is conducted in many disciplines. These include communication, cultural studies, decision sciences, engineering, ethics, finance, geography, health communication, law, linguistics, management, medicine, political science, public ...

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