Institute for Policy Research

Evidence-Based Policymaking in Europe Post-Brexit

Tue Jun 06 10:32:00 BST 2017

IPR Policy Research Seminar

Time: 2.30pm - 3.30pm

Venue: 3E 2.4, University of Bath campus

Speaker: Professor Ragnar Löfstedt, Director of King's Centre for Risk Management

Audience: Open to all, with free registration in advance

On 6 June, risk management expert and interdisciplinary researcher Professor Ragnar Löfstedt will lead a seminar on post-Brexit policymaking at the IPR.

Abstract: Over the past 20 years or so there has been a discussion on how to best promote evidence-based and risk-informed policymaking in Europe. One of the main drivers of this discussion was the UK. Indeed, the country was credited with persuading the European Commission to introduce regulatory impact analysis in 2002, as well as helping to establish (temporarily) a Chief Scientific Advisor to the President of the European Commission.

What will happen now that the UK is leaving Europe? In this presentation I will firstly give a brief overview of what Europe (and here I refer primarily to the Commission and the Parliament) has done (and not done) in the area of evidence-based and risk-informed policymaking, and then discuss what may happen next with the UK not being a central part of the discussions.

The talk is based on informal interviews with 60+ policymakers, including actors in the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment, the European Commission, European Agencies (ECDC, ECHA, EFSA, EMA), the Irish Chief Scientist Office, the Swedish FSA and the UK FSA; members of the European, Swedish and UK Parliaments; and members of the House of Lords.

Biography: Ragnar E. Löfstedt is Professor of Risk Management and the Director of King’s Centre for Risk Management at  King’s College London, where he teaches and conducts research on risk communication and management.

Previously he was a Reader in Social Geography at the University of Surrey. He is also an adjunct faculty at the Harvard Center for Risk Analysis, Harvard School of Public Health where he directs the Risk Communication Challenge Course for continuing education professionals. He is Adjunct Professor at the Department of Engineering and Public Policy, Carnegie Mellon University and a Visiting Professor at the Centre for Public Sector Research, Gothenburg University, Sweden.

He has conducted research in risk communication and management in such areas as renewable energy policy, transboundary environmental issues (acid rain and nuclear power), health and safety, telecommunications, biosafety, pharmaceuticals, the siting and building of incinerators, fuel policy, nuclear waste installations and railways. He is a believer in the building of public trust in regulators and industry via proactive risk communication and argues that high regulatory/industry trust is equivalent to low public perceived risk.

From March - November 2011 Professor Löfstedt served as the Chair of an independent Government review of health and safety legislation. The Lofstedt Review "Reclaiming health and safety for all" was launched 28 November 2011, and the UK Government response accepted all of the 26 recommendations.

Professor Löfstedt is the author/editor of ten books and over 90 peer-reviewed articles/book chapters. He is the editor-in-chief of the Journal of Risk Research and editor of the Risk in Society book series from Earthscan. He also serves on the editorial boards of the International Journal of Risk Assessment and Management, the European Journal of Risk Regulation, the Journal of Health Communication, Risk Management, and SAPIENS.