About the Risk Science Center
The University of Michigan Risk Science Center is an interdisciplinary research center dedicated to supporting science-informed decision-making on existing and emerging human health risks that is responsive to today’s rapidly changing social, economic and political global landscape. Drawing on expertise spanning public health, risk assessment, medicine, business, engineering, public policy, social research, economics and communication, the Center brings a unique and integrative approach to the increasingly complex challenges of addressing health risks associated with technological, social and economic change, while balancing the need for sustainable social and economic growth.
The vision of the University of Michigan Risk Science Center is enabling evidence-based and socially responsive action on human health risks.
The UM Risk Science Center’s mission is to:
- Support cross-disciplinary, integrative research on understanding and addressing existing and emerging risks to human health, and explore innovative ways to balance risks and benefits;
- Equip current and future risk professionals with the understanding they need to address increasingly complex human health risks in a rapidly changing technological and social landscape; and
- Provide decision-makers and decision-influencers with credible resources needed to support evidence-informed and socially-responsive decisions on current and emerging health risk issues.
RESEARCH: By bringing together researchers, stakeholders and potential funders from a wide range of sectors, the UM Risk Science Center is enabling emerging research needs and opportunities to be identified and addressed. Center members are participating in a number of federally-funded research projects addressing human health risks, including studying potential health impacts associated with engineered nanomaterials, developing new approaches to modeling risk, and exploring approaches to effective risk communication. In addition, the center is developing a number of Focus Initiatives to grow and enhance expertise and communities in key areas. These currently include Risk Assessment, Risk Communication, Risk Governance and Transportation Safety.
EDUCATION & TRAINING: The UM Risk Science Center provides graduate students with a foundation in evidence-based approaches to human health risks through a number of mechanisms. A new Certificate Program on Risk Science and Human Health (to be launched September 2012) will enable students to develop critical skills in quantitative risk analysis, systems approaches to risk, sustainability and cost/benefit, and risk communication and management. Within the Department of Environmental Health Sciences the Risk Science sub-plan of the School of Public Health Masters of Public Health is built around a risk science-centric curriculum. And a growing number of courses within the School of Public Health are reflecting aspects of risk science in their curricula. The center also organizes a wide range of seminars and events aimed at exploring new ideas and thinking surrounding human health risks, including the Risk Science Unplugged series of discussions.
PARTNERSHIPS: The UM Risk Science Center actively explores mechanisms to bring people together and help grow risk science-related partnerships; from developing research collaborations, to working with the media, to working through social media, to holding workshops and other meetings that serve community needs. The center website forms the hub of the Center’s partnership-building efforts, and provides a platform where researchers and stakeholders can keep abreast of developments and opportunities in the field of risk science, and engage with one another. The center actively engages with partners and stakeholders through social media, including the Risk Science Blog, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Each month, the center publishes a Monthly Update of events, activities and publications.