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The Need for Social Science in Radon Risk Communication

The aim of the seminar is to highlight the need for social science to support risk communication.

Welcome to an open digital seminar, held in English on ZOOM, CET 10.00 - 15.30, March 24th.

We seek to discuss the following questions based on lessons learnt from radon:
What are the challenges for evidence-based risk communication? What type of social science would benefit risk communication? And how do we make holistic, humble and honest experts in risk communication? 

Programme updated March 18th due to the cancellation of Ragnar Löfstedt’s participation.


Part 1. Setting the stage for radon risk communication in a Swedish context

10.00 Kristina Stenström, Lund University – Welcome and introduction to the Swedish national plan for radon

10.20 Swedish Agencies on communication challenges. Presentations by invited representatives:

  • Joakim Thunborg, Swedish National Board of Housing, Building and Planning (Boverket)
  • Cecilia Jelinek, Geological Survey of Sweden (Sveriges Geologiska Undersökning)
  • Larisa Mileshina, Swedish Radiation Safety Authority (Strålsäkerhetsmyndigheten)

Part 2. Evidence-informed radon risk communication

11.00 Frederic Bouder, University of Stavanger – The quest for evidence-informed risk communication on radon and the Potsdam manifesto

11.15 Ullrika Sahlin, Lund University – Using the relational theory of risk to understand radon risk communication in a Swedish context


11.45 Tanja Perko, Belgian Nuclear Research Centre – Cutting-edge radon risk communication and behaviour of people under radon risk: preliminary results of the RadoNorm project

12.00 Geertje Schuitema, University College Dublin – Integrating behaviour science in radon policy



Part 3. Risk communication as a scientific field

13.45 Mary Kay Rayens, University of Kentucky, (Conley, N., Haneberg, W.C., Stanifer, S., Wiggins, A.T., and Hahn, E.J.) – Using geologically-based radon potential maps to convey lung cancer risk

14.00 Christopher Rääf, Lund University – What do we teach radiation experts about risk communication

14.15 Discussion

14.30 Dominic Balog-Way, Cornell University – The evolving field of risk communication

14.50 Final discussion with all speakers and representatives from Swedish agencies (moderator Ullrika Sahlin)

15.30 Concluding remarks Ullrika Sahlin


Ullrika Sahlin 

ullrika [dot] sahlin [at] cec [dot] lu [dot] se