Category Archives: Risk Assessment Methodologies

On pipelines, oil-by-rail, and the relative risk of catastrophic spills in the aquatic environment

As my regular readers know besides this blog I also write a blog at the Huffington Post. It typically consists of shorter versions on my pieces here. Well my most recent post on the Trans-Mountain Expansion project has received a … Continue reading

Posted in Canadian Politics, Energy East, Oil Sands, Pipelines, Risk, Risk Assessment Methodologies, Risk Communication, Trans Mountain | 4 Comments

Risk Assessment Epilogue: Have a bad case of Anecdotes? Better call an Epidemiologist

In my series on risk assessment I ended by noting that policy-makers can’t only rely on risk assessments when it comes to establishing whether contaminants are actually having an effect on a population. The reason for this is that risk … Continue reading

Posted in Risk Assessment Methodologies | 8 Comments

Risk Assessment Methodologies Part 3: the Risk Assessment Process

Over the course of the last few posts I have discussed components of the risk assessment process. As I’ve discussed, the process of conducting a formalized risk assessment is long-established as scientists have been doing them for years and have … Continue reading

Posted in Risk Assessment Methodologies | 5 Comments

Risk Assessment Methodologies Part 2: Understanding “Acceptable Risk”

In my last post I wrote about the basic concepts of toxicology including dose/response relationships and the concept of a de minimis risk. Today I am going to expand on that concept by discussing what represents an “acceptable risk” in the … Continue reading

Posted in Risk Assessment Methodologies | 8 Comments

Risk Assessment Methodologies Part 1: Understanding de minimis risk

In my last post I talked about big numbers and how they can cause confusion in the minds of the media and the public. In this post I want to discuss the other side of the coin: extremely small numbers … Continue reading

Posted in Risk Assessment Methodologies | 13 Comments

How Big and Small Numbers Influence Science Communication: Understanding Fuel Spill Volumes

This weekend I got a tweet from a friend who wanted everyone on her twitter list to be deeply concerned about the remaining oil from the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico (more on that later). In reading … Continue reading

Posted in Oil Sands, Pipelines, Risk Assessment Methodologies | 4 Comments