Unmasking environmental health Zorros: the need for involvement of real risk communication experts for two-way & problem-solving communication approaches

H. Keune, P. Van den Hazel, F. Bouder

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademic


In the literature about risk communication an evolution can be traced from traditional, one-way and problem focussed communication, restricted to the dissemination of information from experts to the public, to more modern, two-way and more problem solving oriented risk communication, with a focus on participation and cooperation between scientists, policy-makers and the public. Despite advances in theory and numerous initiatives in practice, traditional, one-way communication continues to dominate many attitudes towards the public communication of science as well as practices. Science should no longer hide behind expertism, elitist attitudes and non-transparent black box approaches. Despite good intentions of environmental health experts to help society tackle risks, unmasking these scientific zorros is crucial to take practice and its practitioners and stakeholders serious. It is time for real professional risk communication expertise to be applied and involved in two-way directional and problem solving collaborations.keywordsrisk communicationenvironmental healthexpertstwo-way communicationproblem solving collaboration.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEnvironmental Determinants of Human Health
EditorsJozef M Pacyna, Elisabeth G Pacyna
Place of PublicationDordrecht
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-319-43142-0
ISBN (Print)978-3-319-43140-6
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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