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Dr Bill Durodié

SCIENCE AND RISK PUBLICATIONS

Risk and the Social Construction of 'Gulf War Syndrome'
Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, forthcoming 2006
It may be that the search for a scientific or medical solution to Gulf War Syndrome was misguided. If there is such an entity, it appears to have much in common with other 'illnesses of modernity', whose roots are more socially and culturally driven than what doctors would conventionally consider to be diseases.
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REACH is not about safety
Science and Public Affairs, March 2005
On September 24, the EU council of ministers permanently banned a family of organic chemicals, called phthalates, from use in toys and childcare items. This ‘political agreement’ brought to an end five years of debate about their toxicity. During that time, the European Commission maintained a series of temporary, emergency bans, despite existing and new evidence that consistently and increasingly opposed the official view.
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Toxic policies
The Parliament Magazine, No.193, 29 November 2004, pp.39-40
On September 24, the EU council of ministers permanently banned a family of organic chemicals, called phthalates, from use in toys and childcare items. This ‘political agreement’ brought to an end five years of debate about their toxicity. During that time, the European Commission maintained a series of temporary, emergency bans, despite existing and new evidence that consistently and increasingly opposed the official view.
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Cellular Phones, Public Fears, and A Culture of Precaution
Risk Analysis, Vol.24, No.4, August 2004, pp.1066-1068
Rather than taking people’s perceptions at face value, Burgess seeks to explain how these perceptions came to be constructed in the first place, thereby, challenging these and critiquing precaution.
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The Social Basis for Fears about Science
Conference Paper, Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry
19 April 2004
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The Precautionary Principle: Is it Killing Innovation?
in ‘An Apology for Capitalism?’, Kumaria, S. ed.
Profile Books, 2004, pp.68-77
The precautionary principle is, above all else, an invitation to those without evidence, expertise or authority, to shape and influence political debates. It achieves that by introducing supposedly ethical or environmental elements into the process of scientific, corporate and governmental decision-making.
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The Timid Corporation – Why Business is Terrified of Taking Risk
Risk Analysis, Vol.24, No.1, February 2004, pp.301-304
Hunt examines why business has become re-presented and increasingly accepts an image of itself as reckless, abusive, and destructive. Despite lack of evidence as to widespread misdemeanors, every corporate scandal today, from Enron to Worldcom, becomes reinterpreted as a morality tale that points back to an already assumed need to constrain the corporation.
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Limitations of Public Dialogue in Science and the Rise of New ‘Experts’
Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy, Vol. 6, No. 4, Winter 2003
We should move away from our growing obsession with the impact of science upon society and begin to examine a bit more critically the impact of society upon science - especially in a society that has lost its sense of ambition.
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see also: Inclusion versus experimentation
For the advocates of public dialogue, process is far more important than content. Quantity is prioritised over quality.
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Lay Values?
Tech Central Station
24 September 2003

Response to Riskworld 2020
Journal of Risk Research 6 (4–6), 597–616 (July 2003)
Riskworld 2020 uncritically repeats many of the assumptions, aphorisms, platitudes and prejudices that currently inform the risk discourse. The single key question here should have been: ‘Do people’s perceptions of risk, match the reality of the dangers they face?’ Yet it has not clearly been asked.
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How Long Can an Emergency Last For?
Tech-Central Station
28 May 2003

The true cost of precautionary chemicals regulation
Risk Analysis, Vol.23, No.2, April 2003, pp.389-398
It remains crucial, for all those interested in social progress and transformation to identify all the outcomes of proposed actions, including their opportunity costs, irrespective of the claims and purposes of those promoting them.
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Letter to the Editor Regarding Chemical White Paper Special Issue
Risk Analysis, Vol.23, No.3, June 2003, pp.427-428
Sadly, some scientists also have all too readily absorbed the modern dictate for “inclusivity” and “dialogue” in the vain hope of somehow relegitimizing their activities.
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Why has Europe become so risk-averse?
in Breaking Down the Barriers, Disney, H. ed.
Civitas, 2003, pp.39-46
Two key areas of concern: the new European proposals for chemicals regulations and the broader context for this - societies' particular proclivity to become obsessed with risk nowadays.
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What is Risk Analysis?
Private Commission for European Food Information Council, Brussels
January 2003

Book review: The Precautionary Principle in the Late 20th Century: Late Lessons from Early Warnings
European Environment Agency
Risk Analysis
Vol.22, No.6, December 2002, pp.1208-1209
This report contains useful empirical evidence, but also reflects many of the confusions and equivocations now common among political, corporate and even scientific institutions.
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Society Loses when the Polluter is made to Pay
Audacity
September 2002

The precautionary principle is causing a scare
It's time to apply the precautionary principle to itself.
Risk of Freedom Briefing, July 2002
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Trust comes from Expertise
in ‘Science: Can We Trust the Experts?’, Gilland, T. ed.
Hodder & Stoughton, 2002, pp.17-38

Why I think a dialogue with the public will undermine science
THES, 12 April 2002
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The demoralisation of science
Paper presented on 5 April 2002 to the Demoralization: Morality, Authority and Power
conference held at Cardiff University, UK
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Why I … think a dialogue with the public will undermine science
Times Higher Education Supplement
12 April 2002

Hazard and Risk in Perspective
Private Commission for European Council for Plasticisers and Intermediates, Brussels
February 2001

Troubled Waters: A Tale of Mad Salmon
The Wall Street Journal, European Edition
11 January 2001

Science by Committee
Last Magazine
Summer 2000

The European Food Agency: Likely Evolution and Impact
Private Commission for Tesco
March 2000

Calculating the cost of caution
Chemistry and Industry, Vol.1, No.5, 6 March 2000, p.170
Measures to ban phthlate softeners in PVC products are a cowardly and rearguard attempt by the European Commission to legitimise its authority.
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Poisonous propaganda: global echoes of an anti-vinyl agenda
Competitive Enterprise Institute, Washington
19 July 2000
This paper demonstrates the dangers of blindly following the precautionary principle. The principle is subject to considerable debate, particularly in relation to the tension between demonstrated actual risk and anticipated plausible risk, as well as the problems associated with enforcing what are inevitably variable standards.
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Plastic Panics: European Risk Regulation in the Aftermath of BSE
in ‘Rethinking Risk and the Precautionary Principle’, Morris, J. ed.
Butterworth-Heinemann, 2000, pp.140-166

Leap-Frogging Over Science
LM Magazine
No.126, December 1999/January 2000

Eco-Worriers
LM Magazine
16 August 1999

Plastic Panic
The Wall Street Journal, European Edition
9 June 1999

Poisonous Dummies: European Risk Regulation After BSE
European Science and Environment Forum working paper, June 1999
Environmental activists and consumer protection groups claim that phthalates, organic compounds added to hard PVC to make it more flexible, are responsible for numerous adverse health effects, including cancer and damage to the human reproductive system. Governments, the European Commission, the media and retailers have taken these claims seriously. Yet in more than 40 years of phthalate use, no researcher has ever demonstrated any harm.
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Euro Food Regulation: Poisonous Dummies
LM Magazine
No.114, October 1998

French Lessons
LM Magazine
No.86, Janaury 1996