03rd March 2013
Report on the Disputed role of expert knowledge in understanding and managing risk.
What is risk? 2
Definition of risk / What is risk? 2
Managing risk 2
What is Expert and Lay knowledge? 3
What is Expert Knowledge? 3
What is lay knowledge? 3
Beck’s Views on Expert knowledge? 3
How can expert knowledge be disputed? 4
Exposure to the sun 4
Allotment Dispute / Food Risks 4
Prevention Paradox 5
This report is going to focus on the disputed role of expert knowledge in understanding and managing risk. Throughout this report the areas that will be discussed is how can expert knowledge be disputed? And what is lay knowledge? what is meant by risk?. You will read examples backing up both sides of the disputation, such as the Uncle Norman Epidemiology discussion to the Prevention Paradox to the Beck’s views as an expert. By the time you finish reading you will have formed your own opinion to if they experts can be disputed when referring to risk.
What is risk?
Definition of risk / What is risk?
A situation involving exposure to danger: or expose (someone or something valued), harm, or loss. (Oxford English Dictionary 2011)
In this report risk is going to be used in to context of, more the day-today situations and how risk affect us in our normal lives (Hinchcliffe, 2009, pg. 57).
How to eat this food or that food
How we get to work, Walking down the street
How we drive a car
Which hotel we stay at on holiday
Where our children go to school
Risk is managed daily by us all, we don’t even realize we are doing it, it’s almost like second nature if you take the example from above about walking down the street / going to work, there are lots of risks involved in such simple acts. When crossing a road the risk could be being injured or death which we manage by using designated crossing area’s looking before crossing the road.
What is Expert and Lay knowledge?
What is meant by expert and ley knowledge? And who is beck and what does he think about the expert knowledge?
What is Expert Knowledge?
An expert is someone who is seen to have great knowledge in a subject or skill, and tend to been in their field of expertise for a long matter of time and has qualifications in their field, and therefore are classed as experts. In most cases people tend not to argue with an expert on his/her specialized subjects.
What is lay knowledge?
Lay knowledge is where a person has no formal qualifications, and their knowledge is gained through personal experiences or independent studies or gained knowledge from friends and family members, although they may not be wrong in what they are saying, it is not recognized as an expert opinion
Beck’s Views on Expert knowledge?
Beck is a German sociologist who was one of the key theorist of risk and has been influential in social science debates about risk, his theory was used so we could understand risk and our material lives. (Hinchcliffe, 2009, pg. 79). Beck famously wrote about the Chernobyl No.4 Reactor that exploded in 1989 that injured 200 people and killed 28, with the ‘fallout’ invisible radiation affecting million without them knowing.
Beck had concerns in that the expert’s knowledge can have a knock on effect by causing anxiety to us all e.g. the health problems by radiation could cause unnecessary panic.
How can expert knowledge be disputed?
Expert knowledge can be disputed with contradictory advice, going back on results produced to the public, reports that differ greatly from each other, this can cause an air of uncertainty.
Exposure to the sun
Most experts have told us for years to keep out of the sun’s harmful rays, so as to avoid cancer and other skin / health problems, but now the experts say that we need an element of sun exposure and it can