Computer-mediated risk perception and communication unplugged: A critical assessment of the tools of risk governance in the digital age

Dr. Jamie K. Wardman

Dr. Jamie K. Wardman

Date: March 27, 2015
Time: 13:00 – 14:00
Venue: Digital Media Lab, G/F, Eliot Hall, JMSC, HKU

The mass proliferation and popular uptake of information and communication technologies (ICTs) has markedly expanded the repertoire of risk communication tools and resources that are now commonly available and employed by policymakers and risk management practitioners. Yet, their emergence and impact have passed by with surprisingly little critical examination. Building on Fishhoff’s (1995) earlier seminal work characterizing key developmental stages in risk management learning and practice, this talk offers a personal history of important advances and trends in the evolution of ‘computer-mediated risk perception and communication’ over the past twenty years. The talk advances a new series of developmental stages characterized by focal ICT strategies that researchers and practitioners now ‘hope will do the trick’, and reflects on lessons learned about how far each will go when confronted by risk governance problems in the digital age. 


Dr Jamie K. Wardman is a Research Fellow at the Journalism and Media Studies Centre, The University of Hong Kong, researching the sociocultural, political and technological aspects of risk reporting, communication and governance. His work has addressed the public and policy impacts of risk management tools such as transparency, openness and public participation with respect to public health, safety and security, and how these are interpreted, mediated and acted upon in such areas as emerging technologies, food and environmental hazards, nuclear energy production, crime and terrorism. Jamie received his PhD at the King’s Centre for Risk Management, King’s College London, and also serves as the Managing Editor of the Journal of Risk Research.