Moral aspects of resilience, risk and uncertainty

Resilience has become a prominent paradigm in risk management, especially in the context of uncertain threats. However, when resilience is only seen as society’s capacity to recover from shocks and disturbances and bounce back to its original situation, resilience strategies may actually reproduce existing vulnerabilities. In our work, we look at how the resilience strategies can be used to bounce forward to a more sustainable and just society.

Prof. Dr. Mr. Ir. Neeke Doorn

Technological risks are typically assessed via statistical methods and a risk-cost benefit analysis. However, technological risks and uncertainty also involve important ethical and societal issues that go beyond these approaches: how to measure, compare and distribute risks and benefits? How to respect important ethical values such as justice, fairness and autonomy? In our work on risk ethics we study these issues, and we have developed approaches that shed light on the importance of, for example, inter- and intragenerational justice concerning the risks of energy technologies and the role of emotions, intuitions and art in ethical reflection on risk. Our research on risk ethics helps to shed important new light on a broad range of technologies as well as on public health issues. Next to our academic publications, various members of our section also contribute to public debates and policy advise.

Prof. Dr. Sabine Roeser