October 14, 2021: IRES Student Seminar with Jack Durant and Alexa Tanner

IRES Seminar Series

Time: 12:30pm to 1:30pm (every Thursday)

Location: AERL Theatre (room 120), 2202 Main Mall

View video.


Epistemic Communities and Uncertainty in the Risk Assessment of Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals


As with other complex areas of scientific research, the risk assessment of endocrine-disrupting chemicals involves significant uncertainty. However, the degree, nature and locus of this uncertainty appear to be understood differently by different scientists in the field. This study aims to take a first step towards ‘mapping’ how uncertainty is characterised by different EDC scientists through ‘brokered dialogue’. The brokered dialogue methodology involves filming interviews with experts on a given side of a conversation before showing the footage to experts from a different side for comment. This novel research technique revealed a number of surprising similarities and divergences in EDC experts’ uncertainty characterisations and discussing these and their potential significance will form the core of the talk.

Jack Durant

IRES MA Program


Jack works as part of the Egesta lab and is supervised by Gunilla Öberg and Daniel Steel. Prior to joining IRES in 2019, Jack studied philosophy in the UK where his research projects centred on political philosophy and philosophy of mind. After a brief period of working in environmental conservation, Jack became interested in questions surrounding the production of environmental science. His focus since joining the Egesta lab has been on how the cultural components of science affect its reliability.

Multi-hazard risks: Understanding how context and interacting factors influence natural hazard beliefs and management actions


Given the increasing frequency of disasters and consequences of occurrence, due, in part, to climate change and the amount of property and infrastructure at risk, scholars and practitioners have urged communities to strive for building disaster resilient communities. However, working towards resilience requires understanding how experts and communities perceive and make decisions around natural hazard risks, particularly when faced with multiple hazards. This presentation opens with a brief background of multi-hazard risks and natural hazard and risk perception research before presenting the results from a series of twenty-nine interviews with emergency and risk managers in British Columbia. The presentation will focus on understanding how different natural hazards are perceived and managed, how multi-hazard perspectives are incorporated into practice, and how future threats may change practices.

Alexa Tanner

IRES PhD Program


Alexa Tanner is a PhD Candidate at the University of British Columbia in the Institute for Resource, Environment and Sustainability. The focus of her research is understanding how people perceive risks and make risk management decisions associated with natural hazards. In her recent work, this is applied to risk management in multi-hazard environments, the maritime transportation system, and emergency evacuation behaviour. Her research incorporates risk perceptions into natural hazard risk management with the aim of fostering disaster resilient communities.