A novel approach to the appraisal of technological risk: a multicriteria mapping study of a genetically modified crop

Stirling, Andy and Mayer, Sue (2001) A novel approach to the appraisal of technological risk: a multicriteria mapping study of a genetically modified crop. Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy, 19 (4). pp. 529-555. ISSN 0263-774X

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Abstract

The recent controversy over genetically modified (GM) foods amply demonstrates the general difficulties encountered in the social appraisal of technological risk. Existing procedures for regulatory appraisal neglect many possible forms of impact and routinely exclude important cultural and social dimensions of risk. A narrow, expert, 'science-based' approach is now widely acknowledged to be insufficient. There is a need for new approaches that are more broadly based, transparent, pluralistic and ready to acknowledge uncertainty as well as being practically feasible and robust. The authors investigate the potential for a novel 'multicriteria mapping' (MCM) method as one such possible tool. Drawing on a variety of perspectives in the current UK debate, a range of agricultural strategies for the production of oilseed rape, including both GM and non-GM options were explored in this MCM pilot exercise. The results demonstrate the general feasibility and positive potential of this type of approach, with specific findings providing modest insights for policymaking in this difficult area.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This paper served to open up Prof Stirling's path-breaking work on multi-criteria mapping and to demonstrate its practical feasibility, as applied here to the case of a GM crop. Prof Stirling contributed the pioneering analytical approach while the co-author set up the case study.
Schools and Departments: School of Business, Management and Economics > SPRU - Science Policy Research Unit
Depositing User: Andrew Stirling
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 18:18
Last Modified: 21 Mar 2012 23:18
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/15695
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