Science, Policy and Epidemiology
Workshop, University of Florence,
Department of Statistics
Sponsorship of The International
Biometric Society, Italian Region
November 21-23, 2011
Chairperson: Annibale Biggeri
(University of Florence)
Description: the workshop aims
at discussing the foundations of the Science-Policy interaction and focuses
on Epidemiology and Prevention. The modern (classical) paradigm in which
researchers quantify the strength of empirical evidence to be used in
governance decision processes may fail when facing complex problems, uncertain
knowledge and risks. Several approaches have been proposed in order to
bridge the gap created in the legitimation of political action (e.g. precautionary
principle, extended participation), each with its own characteristic complications
.The workshop will review the basis of the modern conceptual model of
rational decision making, the emergence of probability and the role of
statistical information, and their limitations (irreducible uncertainty,
conflicting certainties, indeterminacy, conflict of interests). It will
also explore novel approaches and alternatives in a context where trust
is in decline.
The workshop is scheduled to
run on a three days basis.
On day 1, the conceptual background
and current practices will be reviewed. Real examples will be presented
and discussed by the participants.
On day 2, new approaches, including an innovative framework for uncertainty
management will be explored, enabling different sorts of uncertainty in
quantitative information to be analysed and communicated in a standardised
and user-friendly way. Examples and experiences on these approaches will
On day 3, the workshop will focus on uncertainty and extended knowledge
assessment. Global sensitivity analysis will be formalised and real examples
will be developed with the participants.
Participants come from different
3- citizen committees' members
4- scientific journalists
5- health managers, local or national representatives, trustees
The workshop is on a closed
For those interested to participate please send by e-mail a letter of
intent specifying your background, a CV and an abstract of a real example
you aim to present to:
Department of Statistics "G. Parenti"
University of Florence
Viale Morgagni 59
50134 Florence (IT)
Download workshop flyer
all related materials in a zipfile [**updated 23-11-2011**]
S. Funtowicz, R. Strand. (2011)
and commitment: beyond risk and responsibility. Journal of Risk Research,
DOI:10.1080/13669877.2011.571784 first published on: 13 May 2011 (iFirst).
A. Saltelli, B. D'Hombres.
analysis didn't help. A practitioner's critique of the Stern review.
Global Environmental Change, 20:298-302.
J.P. van der Sluijs, A.C. Petersen,
P.H.M. Janssen, James S Risbey and Jerome R. Ravetz (2008). Exploring
the quality of evidence for complex and contested policy decisions,
Environmental Research Letters, 3 024008 (9pp)
Jeroen P. van der Sluijs, Matthieu
Craye, Silvio Funtowicz, Penny Kloprogge, Jerry Ravetz, and James Risbey
Quantitative and Qualitative Measures of Uncertainty in Model based Environmental
Assessment: the NUSAP System, Risk Analysis, 25 (2). p. 481-492
A. Saltelli (2002) Global
Sensitivity Analysis: An Introduction. EU ISPRA
S. Funtowicz, J Ravetz. (1993)
for the post-normal age. Futures, 25:739-755.
J.A. Curry and P.J.
Webster, (2011) Climate Science
and the Uncertainty Monster. Bulletin of the American Meteorological
J.P. van der Sluijs
(2005), Uncertainty as a monster in the science
policy interface: four coping strategies. Water science and technology,
52 (6), 87-92.
- Andrea Saltelli
and Paola Annoni 2010. How to
avoid a perfunctory sensitivity analysis
- Dankel et al., 2011 Advice
under uncertainty in the marine system
- UNESCO COMEST (2005)
- Arthur C. Petersen,
Albert Cath, Maria Hage, Eva Kunseler, and Jeroen P. van der Sluijs
(2011). Post-Normal Science in Practice
at the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, Science Technology
& Human Values, 36 (3), 362-388.
- Van der Sluijs
et al., 2010. Beyond
consensus: reflections from a democratic perspective on the interaction
between climate politics and science, Current Opinion in Environmental
- Roger Strand, Guri
Rørtveit, Yngvild S. Hannestad, Edvin Schei, 2010. Risk,
Uncertainty and Indeterminacy
in Clinical Decisions: Rationality, Science and the Legitimacy of Clinical
Decisions, PrimaryCare 10 (12) 232-233.
- Roger Strand et
al., 2004, Complex
Systems and Human Complexity in Medicine, Complexus 2004–05;2:2–6
- Climatic Change
Issue on IPCC Uncertainty Guidance
- James Risbey e.a.
2011, Sources of knowledge and ignorance
in climate research, Climatic Change
Participation Guidance for the Netherlands Environmental Assessment
Communication: Issues and good practice
course Knowledge Quality Assessment (work in progress)
the case studies
The Radio vaticano
The smog trial
/ Ultra Fine Particles
Waste heath effect:
scientific evidence and policies
From quality of
study designs to quality of evidence: the GRADE,approach to formulate
recommendations to patients, clinicians and policy makers
health and public actions (national and EU projects)
Burden of disease
Hands on experience