Message from the President
Welcome to our first newsletter of 2019. As this is my first introduction as your new President I think it is only fitting that I say a massive thank you to Sandra for all the hard work she has put in as President over the last two years. I am glad that she will be around for a while as Immediate Past President for her knowledge of all things SRA, and for support and guidance as I settle in to this new role. I want to mirror her thanks to those committee members who stood down at the end of last year: Naomi who worked tirelessly for the region with our international counterparts, Anca Hanea for expanding the network our society has with other international experts and societies, and Martina Hoffman for her hard work developing the strong relationship we now have with the Australasian Bayesian Network Modelling Society (ABNMS – more about them later!) It is also a great pleasure to welcome some new faces to the committee. Aaron Dodd joins us as our new President-Elect. Anna Kosovac, who has ably put this newsletter together, has joined us as a Counsellor. Victoria Hemming joined the committee for a brief time before she took up an exciting job opportunity we hope she’ll be back soon though!
A lot of my energy so far this year has been taken-up planning for this year’s conference. When I first talked to members of the committee before I put my name forward last year, I knew I would have to organise the conference. Oh, how naively I
thought: “how hard could that be!?” Thankfully Sandra and I had already discussed the possibility of another joint conference with ABNMS. After a slow start, not helped by me returning to the UK for Christmas, and a great deal of patience and poking by my counterpart at ABNMS (Annemarie Christophersen), I am now quietly confident that we have an interesting conference planned for Wellington this November. A big thanks goes out to Bob Cavana and Bronwyn Howells at Victoria Business School for their help in securing rooms at the VBS site in central Wellington, and to GNS for hosting websites etc. There are more details later in the newsletter please make a note of the key dates and keep an eye out for further details later in the year.
As I think back to the first meeting Annemarie and I had, we ended the conversation on why we joined our respective committees, what we wanted to achieve as President, and why we wanted to be involved with the conference. I’ll admit that I didn’t put my name in the hat at SRA-ANZ because I wanted to organise a conference. I was more interested in helping people to conduct better risk assessments. And, just as importantly, to explain the process and outcome of those assessments in a way that is readily understandable.
To the chagrin, I’m sure, of some of the contaminated land consultants whose reports I reviewed as a regulator back in the UK, I never took favourably to those who threw numbers in a spreadsheet without explaining why that model and value had been chosen, and how the inputs and outputs related to the real world. Maybe I have my old consultancy environ-
mental/training director to thank for that. One of the key things I remember from the three years working with him was that it was important to “tell the story”; to lead the reader (whether that be client or regulator) through your thinking; to use language that your audience can follow so that they can understand you conclusions and recommendations. On a basic level, if the client didn’t understand then they’d likely go elsewhere next time; if the regulator didn’t, it was harder to get the client’s project approved (and they might go elsewhere next time). Taking a big-picture view if nothing was done, this could mean land affecting the health of people and the environment was not cleaned-up, or money wasted on land that didn’t need it.
Jumping forward 15 years from those conversations, I think that being able to explain how we reach a risk assessment conclusion and the recommendation that follows is just as important. However, it is becoming increasingly clear that for people to follow or accept those recommendations we also need to consider their intrinsic values. This doesn’t necessarily mean that the outcome of an assessment/recommendation process will be different. Hopefully, it means that more people are more likely to accept the actions that follow, even if they don’t necessarily agree with them.
This all leads nicely back to this year’s conference: Risk and Decisions: how different aspects of risk underpin reasonable and culturally-appropriate decision-making. I hope we can bring together researchers developing new techniques and insights, practitioners using some of those techniques in anger (as it were), regulators reviewing proposals, and policy makers and decision makers deciding what and how to implement risk analysis and the resulting management options, so that others inside and outside our society have a greater appreciation of good risk analysis and the benefits that it can bring for organisations, us, the environment, and society.
Nominations are invited from suitably qualified persons for the 2020-23 membership of the Gene Technology Technical Advisory Committee (GTTAC).
Nominations close 21 June 2019.
Gene Technology Technical Advisory CommitteeGTTAC is a statutory committee of up to 20 members established under the Gene Technology Act 2000 (the Act) to provide scientific and technical advice to support the national scheme for regulating genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in Australia. A key function of GTTAC is to provide advice on applications and risk assessments for environmental release of GMOs, including GMOs for agricultural and medical purposes.
Further information on the current membership and work of the Committee can be found on the GTTAC webpage.
Who Should Nominate?Nominees should have recognised skills and experience relevant to gene technology and GMOs. Committee members including the Chair are appointed as individuals based on their expertise and not as representatives of a particular organisation.
All nominees should be able to prepare for and attend meetings consistently and contribute to the Committee’s work program as required.
With a view to increasing female representation on committees, suitably qualified women are particularly encouraged to nominate.
Nomination and Appointment processAppointments are made by the Minister responsible for gene technology and are normally for a period of three years. Current GTTAC terms expire in January 2020. To nominate for membership of GTTAC for 2020-2023, please refer to the ‘Information for GTTAC Nominees’ document and complete a Nomination Form using either the online Nomination Form or the Word template Nomination Form, both provided below.
Please note that the nomination, selection and appointment process involves consultation with States and Territories and is expected to take several months.
Nominations must be submitted to the OGTR by: 21 June 2019
Further information can be obtained by contacting the OGTR on (free-call) 1800 181 030 or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org
DOCX version of Information for GTTAC Nominees - DOCX 60 KB
PDF version of Information for GTTAC Nominees - PDF 223 KB
Online version of GTTAC Nomination Form
DOCX verision of GTTAC Nomination Form - DOCX 70 KB
PDF version of GTTAC Nomination Form - PDF 266 KB
The Society for Risk Analysis (SRA) invites your abstracts for presentations at the 2019 SRA Annual Meeting in Arlington, Virginia, USA, December 8-12.
We welcome contributions on any topic related to risk assessment, risk characterization, risk perception, risk communication, risk management, risk governance, and policy relating to risk, in the context of risks of concern to individuals, to public and private sector organizations, and to society at a local, regional, national, or global level.
The theme of the conference, "Risk Analysis in the Data Analytics Era," highlights the important role risk analysts have in tackling risk problems and improving the science and practice of risk analysis.
Abstracts are due no later than May 28, 2019, midnight EST.
Click here for complete submission guidelines and to submit your abstract.
Continuing education workshops will be offered on Sunday, December 8, and Thursday, December 12, in either 4 or 8 hour sessions. Click here for complete workshop submission guidelines and to submit your proposal. Continuing education workshop proposals are due no later than May 28, 2019.
To coincide with SRA’s new Strategic Plan, the Society is launching the Strategic Initiatives Fund. SRA members are invited to submit proposals for project grants up to $20,000 that will make a significant contribution to realizing the goals outlined in the Strategic Plan:
SRA Submission deadline: May 1, 2019 To read the full Strategic Plan, click here. For more information on the Strategic Initiatives, visit our site.
The 2019 SRA-Benelux Conference focuses on the theme: “Reasoning with Uncertainty.” Experts, practitioners and policy makers often have to make decisions under conditions of uncertainty. This sometimes leads to catastrophic outcomes, but often also results in averted disasters, innovation and unexpected discoveries. This conference, is devoted to how risk research(ers) can better inform decision-making in the face of uncertainty, anticipate negative outcomes, increase the propensity for positive outcomes, and better communicate uncertainty.
SRA-Benelux invites contributions that reflect on the conceptual and practical dimensions of uncertainty; uncertainty issues that have been neglected; new and innovative approaches to understanding and dealing with uncertainty; how policy makers, industry decision-makers, and practitioners can make better decisions under uncertainty; and uncertainty communication. Papers that address the following topical areas (in relation, but not limited to, Benelux countries) are especially welcome:
Papers that address the following topical areas (in relation, but not limited to, Benelux countries) are especially welcome:
Chemicals are an important part of modern life. From the soaps and toothpastes that we use in the morning, to those used at work and the manufacture of new products, and those used to manage agricultural pests. These chemicals all have hazards. It is important for the health of people and the environment that the risks from these hazards are managed properly. The panel presents a variety of how New Zealand’s regulators look at these risks from a range of perspectives, including importing or manufacturing a substance for the first time, managing chemicals safely at work, and residues on the food we eat. Are there also non-chemical alternatives that could be used?
Michael Berardozzi Importing and manufacturing pesticides
Team Leader, Hazardous Substances Applications, Environmental Protection Authority Te Mana Rauhī Taiao
Lee Bailey Legacy pesticides still in New Zealand
Senior Advisor, Hazardous Substances Reassessments, Environmental Protection Authority Te Mana Rauhī Taiao
Clark Ehlers Assessing the benefits and risks of releasing exotic organisms to manage invasive species in New Zealand
Senior Advisor, New Organisms, Environmental Protection Authority Te Mana Rauhī Taiao
Julian Jackson Cultural risk assessment tool for New Zealand
Senior Advisor, Kaupapa Kura Taiao, Te Mana Rauhī Taiao
The 2018 conference of the Society for Risk Analysis-Australia and New Zealand (SRA-ANZ) brings together multidisciplinary panels aimed at analysing risk from different perspectives, and invites professionals and scholars to engage in discussions on how to creatively and insightfully push the frontiers of risk research and risk management towards an increasingly complex future.
Learn more about the conference sessions and presenters here!
26th and 27th September
ABS 1050 Abercrombie Building
Cnr Abercrombie and Codrington Streets
The University of Sydney Business School
It's time to make plans to join SRA in New Orleans, LA, December 2-6, for the 2018 Annual Meeting.
Registration for the meeting is now open and we encourage you to register early to take advantage of early-bird pricing!
Interested in attending a full or half-day workshop on Sunday or Thursday? We have many workshops being offered for the first time this year, as well as favorites returning from years past.
Register before October 17 and use promo code SRA2018 to save 10% on workshop costs.
Interested in joining SRA's new mentorship program? The SRA Mentorship Program facilitates communication throughout the conference by linking those new to the field/profession with mid- and senior-level colleagues. Mentors advise emerging professionals (mentees) on getting the most value from the SRA Annual Meeting, introduce mentees to colleagues and discuss career goals. Mentees are encouraged to talk with mentors about challenges and opportunities in today's risk analysis landscape. Use the following links to enroll in the program: Mentors | Students/New Professionals.
As you make travel and lodging accommodations, we hope you are planning to join us through Wednesday afternoon to receive this year's event t-shirt. For your convenience, childcare services will be offered free of charge to meeting attendees on a first-come first-serve basis. Please use this form to enroll your child(ren).
For additional information, please see the 2018 Annual Meeting website.
The following upcoming webinars will be available to all SRA members including:
Core Subjects of Risk Analysis Series
September 5: Solving Real Risk Problems & Issues with Willy Røed
October 3: Risk, Causation and Decision with Tony Cox
November 7: Inclusive Governance of Risk: The Incorporation of Stakeholders in Risk Management with Ortwin Renn
September 12: Toward Safer Consumer Products: Exploring the Use of Multi-Criteria (MCDA) and Structured Decision Making (SDM) Approaches for Chemical Alternatives Analysis
October 24: Writing Guidelines for Risk Management: Lessons and Questions from 3 Examples