The aim of this chapter is to critically reflect definitions of hazard, risk, and risk perception and their assessments used in different scientific disciplines and give examples of the potential implications for scientific discussions, knowledge management, and risk communication. Scientists with backgrounds in public health, psychology, environmental health, occupational health, engineering, sociology, and medicine were asked for a definition of hazard, risk, risk assessment, and risk perception seen from their specific scientific disciplines. Hazard is generally seen as an adverse event or condition. For most risk definitions, probability and severity are important aspects. Often a quantification of risk is desired, whereas risk perception is seen as a subjective appraisal and a cognitive construct. As risk perceptions are based on a combination of knowledge and individual values and affects, it may not provide a reliable guidance for risk management decisions on a societal level. Discipline differences are mainly connected to terminology and interpretation of key concepts, but the differences are based on different tasks and perspectives. For dealing with controversies in science across disciplines, an acceptance and appreciation of terminology and perspectives from different scientific disciplines are needed to ensure a transparent risk assessment process.
Part of the book: Knowledge Management Strategies and Applications