Unit Sociology of Risk and Risk Benefit Appraisal
The main task of the Sociology of Risk and Risk Benefit Appraisal Unit is to support and optimise the communication of the risks assessed by BfR to stakeholders from the fields of politics, science, trade and industry, associations and NGOs as well as to the public at large by means of scientific research. This communication process should be transparent, tailored to the target groups and participatory. It aims to enable the various stakeholder groups and consumers to take independent, informed decisions about consumer health protection.
Against this backdrop the Unit deals particularly with risk perception. It seeks to record the risk perception of various stakeholder groups and consumers. Besides measuring risk perception, it also identifies the factors that influence risk perception. The recording of risk perception is used for the constructive processing of possible differences in perception between BfR and its stakeholders.
Another focus is the development and implementation of early risk detection methods. Early risk detection involves the timely identification, characterisation and - if possible - quantification of emerging risks to develop prompt options for risk management steps.
Finally the Unit deals with questions of risk impact assessment. This encompasses the consequences of risks themselves as well as the consequences of risk assessment. Special attention is paid in this context to the problem of risk trade offs.
Research projects are designed and conducted in the above main areas. At the same time, new forms of communication are initialized that support the ongoing development and optimisation of risk communication.
Dr. Mark Lohmann is the head of this Unit.