Dealing with uncertainty in science and decision-making

2011-12-15 - 2011-12-15

Stockholm seminar with professor Claude Henry, Thursday 15 December 2011.

Economics is erratic, politics is manipulated, but at least science is objective, certain and consequently predictable. This image of science runs deep in the minds of most people when they consider scientific issues.

Despite significant methodological difficulties, scientists have developed structured, rigorous and operational approaches to evaluating and deciding under conditions of genuine uncertainty.

These achievements however do not appear to carry enough weight in the controversies surrounding "uncertain" sciences; while scientists work on reducing or taming uncertainty,
many powerful and well-organized actors in the economy, in politics and in the media, are
busy denying scientific results and fabricating more uncertainty than actually exists, in order to undermine policies that hurt their particular interests and ideological prejudices.
This seminar will discuss issues on how to deal with uncertainty in science and decision, and how to manipulate uncertainty in science and decision.

About Claude Henry
Claude Henry is currently professor of sustainable development at IDDRI Sciences-Po Paris and at Columbia University. A physicist turned economist, his current research interests are in the field of the production and dissemination mechanisms of science and innovation.

His publications include evaluation of projects with significant ecological content, public services and public utilities economics and intellectual property mechanisms. Between 1997 and 2002 he also served in the Conseil d'Analyse Economique under Prime Minister Lionel Jospin. He is a member of Academia Europea and of the French Academy of Engineering (“Academie des Technologies"), and Fellow of the Econometric Society.


Listen to seminar here


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