Graduate course in Risk, Uncertainty and Decision Making

The course is over. Check this post for a summary.

Registration is now closed for the PhD course in risk, uncertainty and decision making.


We make a number of decisions every day. These decisions are based on conscious or unconscious analysis, as well as assessments of risks and uncertainties. We are often unaware of how we make these decisions, and how we compare alternatives. The decisions can be about everyday situations, like if to bring an umbrella, or about complex and urgent issues that face society, like issues connected with the environment or sustainability. The course focuses on a number of issues: How can risk be assessed? Can risk be quantified? How do risk assessments affect decision and policy making? What role does risk communication and media play? How do individuals perceive risks and risk management? How does the concept of risk influence the way we understand the world and try to control it? Risk, uncertainty, and decision analysis implies systematic efforts to understand the context and consequences of decisions.

The aim of the course is to give a deeper understanding of the theoretical perspectives and methods in risk research within different disciplines, and tools for interdisciplinary risk research. The course contains lectures and seminars. The lectures will provide rich accounts of different disciplinary perspectives.  The participants will in seminars get a chance to collaborate on questions requiring an interdisciplinary approach.

Target group: Graduate students from different disciplines

Extent: 7.5 credits

The course has two physical meetings:

  • October 13-14th in Lund (hosted by LUCRAM, Lund University), starts 9.00 the 13th, ends 15.00 the 14th
  • November 13-16th in Gothenburg (hosted by the School of Business, Economics and Law, Gothenburg University), starts 14.00 the 13th, ends 12.00 16th

Participants are expected to prepare in advance to the meetings by reading the assigned literature. The course is examined through attendance of the physical meetings and a completed paper where at least two themes of the course is discussed in relation to the participants PhD subject or field of interest.

The second meeting includes the second Nordic risk conference held in November 14-15th 2016. As course participant you have two options: (1)  To send in an abstract to the conference for an oral presentation. If accepted the participant should pay the conference fee to the conference organisers. The conference fee is 1000 SEK for PhD and master students (and 1500 SEK otherwise). (2) To participate in the conference without giving any oral presentation. If so, the course will compensate the conference fee after a completed course.

This course is funded by the research program LUCID and the research school ClimBECO and is given as part of the Lund University Centre for Risk Assessment and Managment (LUCRAM). It is open for any PhD student to attend. The number of places is limited.

Course directors: Åsa Knaggård (LU), Ullrika Sahlin (LU) och Daniel Slunge (GU).

The course will be given in English

Cost: The conference fee to attend the Nordic Chapter SRA conference

Lund – October

Where: Kärret bottom floor in the Ecology Building, Sölvegatan 37 (close to LTH student union house)
Thursday 13
9.30 to 12.00 Henrik Tehler (Division of Risk Management and Social Safety, LTH): Introduction to risk assessment
13.00 to 14.30 Annika Wallin (Department of Philosophy, Lund University): Individual decision making
14.45 to 15.45 Henrik Hassel (Division of Risk Management and Social Safety, LTH): Quantitative descriptions of risk
16.00 to 17.00 Ullrika Sahlin (Centre for Environmental and Climate Research, Lund University): Probability

Friday 14
9 to 10.30 Johannes Persson, (Department of Philosophy, Lund University): Risk philosophy
11 to 12 Frederik Lundtofte (School of Economics and Management, Lund University): Risk in an economist’s perspective
13 to 14 Literature discussion
14 to 15 Ullrika Sahlin: Mind the risk – a case-study on planning under risk and uncertainty

Göteborg – November
Sunday 13
14 to 15.15 Åsa Knaggård (Department of Political Science, Lund University): Policy-making under risk and uncertainty
15.30 to 16.45 Ragnar Löfstedt (King’s Centre for Risk Management, King’s College London): Risk communication in the 21st century
17 to 18.15 Nick Pidgeon (School of Psychology, Cardiff University): Advances in risk communication
18.30 to 19 Joint discussion with students

Monday 14
9.30 to 18 Risk conference and group discussions

Tuesday 15
9 to 13 Risk conference
14.30 to 15.30 Tomas Bergström (Institute of Biomedicine, Gothenburg University): Ticks – case-study on risk perception and risk communication
16 to 17 Daniel Slunge (Centre for Environment and Sustainability, Gothenburg University): Ticks – case-study on risk perception and risk communication

Wednesday 16
9 to 10 Daniel Slunge: Ticks – case-study on risk perception and risk communication
10.30 to 12 Ullrika Sahlin: Uncertainty


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  1. Note that we have extended the deadline to apply for the course to October 2nd!

  2. Information about the course has been updated and we have all lectures confirmed. Remember that the deadline is September 13th.

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