Values in Worst-Case Scenarios


Per Wikman-Svahn


The role of values in worst-case scenarios is particularly important and revealing as worst case scenarios are typically characterized by high scientific uncertainty and high social stakes. This paper examines the role of values in assessing and managing worst case scenarios by using a process-model of how scientific information is used in decision making and a theory of how “contexts of communication” influence values in science and policy. The model and theory are tested using real examples of scientific assessments and decision-making involving worst-case scenarios of future sea level rise.