Past Conference

The Reality of Precaution: Comparing Risk Regulation

Mar 25, 2011

About the Event

The Reality of Precaution: Comparing Risk Regulation in the United States and Europe 
An RFF Press Book Launch

Reality of PrecautionDate:

Friday, March 25, 2011
9:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m., followed by lunch until 2:00 p.m.

Registration and a continental breakfast will begin at 8:30 a.m.

Speakers at the event will Include:

The co-editors of The Reality of Precaution:

Jonathan B. Wiener, Professor of Law, Environmental Policy, and Public Policy Studies at Duke University, and University Fellow at Resources for the Future
Michael D. Rogers, Independent Consultant on Risk, Science, and Ethics; and a former member of the Bureau of European Policy Advisers reporting to the President of the European Commission
James K. Hammitt, Professor of Economics and Decision Sciences at Harvard University and the Toulouse School of Economics
Peter H. Sand, Lecturer in International Environmental Law at the University of Munich

Featured speakers:

C. Boyden Gray, Gray & Schmitz, LLP; Former U.S. Ambassador to the European Union
William Sleath, Office of the Secretary General, European Commission
Richard Morgenstern, Senior Fellow, Resources for the Future; Former Director of Policy Analysis, U.S. EPA
Gail Charnley, HealthRisk Strategies
George Gray, Director, Center for Risk Science and Public Health, George Washington University; Former Assistant Administrator, U.S. EPA


Seventh Floor Conference Room
1616 P Street NW
Washington, DC 20036

Registration for this event has closed.

A full agenda is available here (PDF)

Copies of The Reality of Precaution will be provided to the first 50 registered attendees at the door, compliments of the editors.

The "precautionary principle" has sparked the central controversy over European and U.S. risk regulation. The Reality of Precaution: Comparing Risk Regulation in the United States and Europe, is the most comprehensive study to go beyond precaution as an abstract principle and test its reality in practice. This groundbreaking resource, including 20 chapters and 600 pages by 27 expert authors, combines a dozen detailed case studies of a wide array of U.S. and European regulation of risks to health, safety, environment, and security over the past four decades; a broad quantitative analysis of relative transatlantic precaution regarding nearly 3,000 risks; and cross-cutting chapters on politics, law, and perceptions. The authors rebut the rhetoric of divergence or reversal in European and American approaches to risk regulation and show that the reality has been general parity, combined with the selective application of precaution to particular risks on both sides of the Atlantic. They also offer a constructive exchange of policy ideas toward better regulation. The book presents a new view of precaution, regulatory reform, comparative analysis, and transatlantic relations.

Book details and ordering information are available here.

Speakers at this symposium will present the findings and implications of this research, as well as debate the future of regulation and transatlantic relations.