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An increasing number of institutions, including universities as well as private, governmental and not-for-profit organizations, offer training or courses in risk analysis. Social sciences, especially economics, psychology, philosophy, communications, and sociology are inextricable components of risk analysis praxis. Likewise, the use of risk analysis in developing countries and the international context is widening. In this paper, we evaluate a collection of risk analysis course syllabi that are available on the World Wide Web. We find that, while the social science context varies, nearly two-thirds of all courses include some social science, and about one-third have primary emphasis on social sciences. We discuss the types of social science that are addressed, and the relative emphasis on each. Our findings are less optimistic for the inclusion of international issues, although they are not entirely ignored. We provide a matrix of risk analysis course types, and the range of institutions in which they are offered. This review leaves us optimistic that risk analysts are being trained with some understanding of the social context of their efforts. Note that our focus is on environmental, health and safety risk, and does not include courses in financial risk management.
Date of Conference: 17-19 June 2004