Science, engineering, and technology in the policy process for mitigating natural-societal risk

Timothy R.B. Taylor, David N. Ford, Shari A. Yvon-Lewis, Eric Lindquist

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Increased societal risks due to the anthropogenic degradation of natural systems often require public policy action to mitigate. For example, increased skin cancer risks associated with anthropogenic stratospheric ozone depletion led to public policies limiting the emission of many ozone-depleting substances. Natural-societal system interaction is complex and often requires expert knowledge and technology to develop effective and sustainable societal risk mitigation policies. However, available knowledge and technology are not always successful in increasing policy makers' attention to or understanding of these risks. The current work uses a system dynamics model of a feedback system that describes the stratospheric ozone depletion case to identify high leverage points for domain experts to influence policy makers in addressing risks posed by changes in a natural system. Model analysis suggests that the rate at which policy makers' attention to natural system risk is increased has a significant influence on the development of knowledge and technology and the ability of policy makers to mitigate societal risks.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)173-194
Number of pages22
JournalSystem Dynamics Review
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2011

Bibliographical note

Copyright 2011 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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