25-02-2018 10:59:27

Late lessons from early warnings – presented by David Gee

Why did we ignore early warnings on asbestos, PCBs, and BSE? Have we become smarter - or are we still ignoring early warnings e.g. on nanomaterials and mobile phone radiation? We are proud to present an international capacity on this subject, David Gee!
Arrangør: Miljøteknisk Gruppe, IDA Nord

Since 2001, when the EEA published its first report on “Late Lessons from Early Warnings” (EEA,2001) the pace of development and global impacts of new products and technologies has increased, alongside enhanced scientific awareness about the complexity and uncertainties of biological, ecological and social systems.  In response to these more difficult contexts for policymaking  the second report on “Late Lessons from Early Warnings” was released by the European Environment Agency in 2013  (http://www.eea.europa.eu/publications/late-lessons-2). It analyses historical hazards, such as Minamata mercury poisoning and leaded petrol pollution, as well as emerging issues, such as pharmaceuticals in the environment, neonicotinoid pesticides, radiation from mobile phones, nanomaterials, and GM feed. Concluding chapters provide insights into “false positives”, precautionary science, costs of inaction, why businesses usually ignore early warnings, and whether more or less precaution would be wise. Both reports call for greater public and stakeholder engagement in choosing strategic innovation pathways to energy and food security.   The report’s 20 case studies complement the 14  analysed in vol 1, which included asbestos, acid rain, PCBs, TBT, DES, BSE, CFCs, X rays, and antibiotics in animal feed, and which generated “Twelve Late Lessons”.

IDA and DM (Danish Association of Masters and PhDs) are proud to announce that David Gee has accepted to travel from UK to Aalborg to present the reports and his view on the use of the precautionary principles. David Gee was the originator, a co-author and co-editor of the Late Lessons from Early Warnings reports. 

We therefore invite to a after-work meeting where David Gee will make a presentation on the reports followed by a discussion and questions from the audience. Examples of questions could be: How can we better integrate the precautionary principles in decision-making processes in companies, municipalities, etc.? How do we learn not to ignore early warnings?

The event takes place in Skibbrogade 5, 1. floor in room C1-12 and the Danish Engineer Society will serve soda & cake.


About David Gee

David was educated in politics and economics at York University (1965-68) and has worked for over 40  years at the science/policy interface of occupational, public, and environmental risk assessment & reduction, with UK Trade Unions (TUC,GMB); with the UK Environmental Group, Friends of the Earth, where he was Director; and, from December 1995 to May 2013, with the European Environment Agency, an EU environmental information providing body in Copenhagen, where he was Senior Adviser, Science, Policy, Emerging Issues. 

He has published reports and peer reviewed articles and lectured on Scientific Uncertainty; the Precautionary Principle; Environmental Health; Environmental Taxes and Ecological Tax Reform; Clean production; Eco-efficiency; Endocrine disrupting chemicals; Electro-magnetic fields; Evaluating Evidence; Anticipatory research; and “Late Lessons from Early Warnings: the Precautionary Principle 1898-2000” (EEA, 2001), and “Late Lessons from Early Warnings: Science, Precaution, Innovation” (EEA, 2013).

He is now a Visiting Fellow at the new Institute of Environment, Health, and Societies, at Brunel University, London.

Kommende arrangementer
fra Miljøteknisk Gruppe, IDA Nord

13 mar.
Bæredygtighedsmålene - et spadestik dybere end skåltale & Miljøteknisk Årsmøde 2018
  • Studenterhuset - Aalborg, Aalborg
  • tirsdag d. 13. marts kl. 17:00
5 apr.
Det store svigt - Foredrag om 100 års naturfredning i Danmark
  • Institut for Kemi og Biovidenskab, Aalborg Øst
  • torsdag d. 05. april kl. 17:00
13 jun.
Grøn kemi og fremtidens energisystemer
  • Institut for Kemi og Biovidenskab, Aalborg Øst
  • onsdag d. 13. juni kl. 17:00


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