Science, engineering, and technology in the policy process for mitigating natural-societal risk Academic Article uri icon


  • AbstractIncreased societal risks due to the anthropogenic degradation of natural systems often require public policy action to mitigate. For example, increased skin cancer risks associated with anthropogenic stratospheric ozone depletion led to public policies limiting the emission of many ozonedepleting substances. Naturalsocietal system interaction is complex and often requires expert knowledge and technology to develop effective and sustainable societal risk mitigation policies. However, available knowledge and technology are not always successful in increasing policy makers' attention to or understanding of these risks. The current work uses a system dynamics model of a feedback system that describes the stratospheric ozone depletion case to identify high leverage points for domain experts to influence policy makers in addressing risks posed by changes in a natural system. Model analysis suggests that the rate at which policy makers' attention to natural system risk is increased has a significant influence on the development of knowledge and technology and the ability of policy makers to mitigate societal risks. Copyright 2011 System Dynamics Society.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Taylor, T., Ford, D. N., Yvon-Lewis, S. A., & Lindquist, E.

citation count

  • 3

complete list of authors

  • Taylor, Timothy RB||Ford, David N||Yvon-Lewis, Shari A||Lindquist, Eric

publication date

  • April 2011