Professor Jonathan Wolff (UCL Philosophy) chaired by Lord Neuberger of Abbotsbury, Master of the Rolls
Launch of the UCL Centre for Ethics & Law - Video
We now live in a 'risk society', pre-occupied with hazards to life and heath. Risk is both negative and positive: risk is both danger and innovation. What is the appropriate balance? Under what circumstances is it acceptable for individuals to be exposed to risks to which they have not consented? How do we encourage socially beneficially risk-taking while avoiding recklessness? How do we frame regulation in order to reduce danger, but support innovation? Appropriate regulation will need to be sensitive to three parties of risk: the beneficiaries of the risky activity; those upon whom the risk is imposed; and those who determine whether the risky action takes place. Regulation will also reflect the fact that often individuals are happy to live with a particular level of risk in their lives,and so will change their behaviour in unexpected ways in response to a changing risk environment.