Technological risk /

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Bibliographic Details
Author / Creator:Lewis, H. W. (Harold Warren)
Imprint:New York : W.W. Norton, c1990.
Description:xiii, 353 p. ; 22 cm.
Subject:Technology -- Risk assessment
Technology -- Risk assessment.
Format: Print Book
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Notes:Includes index.
Review by Choice Review

Lewis (Physics, University of California, Santa Barbara) chaired the American Physical Society study of light-water reactor safety (published in 1975). He is supportive of technology, arguing for a balanced evaluation: risks versus benefits, hazards of one technology versus danger of alternative choices. The book is in three parts: a general discussion of risk (perception, assessment, uncertainty), eight specific examples (half of the book), and a brief supplementary primer on probability. The introductory section on risk and the final chapters on statistics are rambling and unfocused; and the entire book is replete with irrelevant aside comments. It is difficult to take seriously a work that informs the reader that "in California it is illegal to tattoo a minor, voluntarily or involuntarily" and "for eighty years, ending in 1926, {{the state of Bhopal}} had female rulers." There is no apparent logic in the selection of case studies (a disparate collection, ranging from chemical carcinogenesis to nuclear winter), and the treatment of issues is trivialized, superficial, and nonscholarly. No bibliography. Even for the casual reader, for whom the book is intended, it will be unhelpful and unconvincing. -D. W. Larson, University of Regina

Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
Review by Choice Review