24 November 2014

Ignore–Suppress–Dramatize: Reactions to Global Threat

Ortwin Renn, a long term IIASA collaborator and member of the German IIASA Committee will give a lecture on the reactions to global threat.

Monday, 24 November 2014
Festsaal of the Austrian Academy of Sciences
1010 Wien, Dr. Ignaz Seipel Platz 2

Kerner von Marilaun lecture 2014
Ignore–Suppress–Dramatize: Reactions to Global Threat


18:00 Opening
Anton Zeilinger: President of the Austrian Academy of Sciences (ÖAW)
Gerhard Glatzel: Chairman of the Commission for Interdisciplinary Ecological Studies (KIÖS) of the ÖAW            

18:10-19:30 Lecture
Ortwin Renn, University of Stuttgart and DIALOGIK. Professor Ortwin Renn is a member of the German IIASA Committee  and Vice Chair of the German IIASA Executive Advisory Board.

Note: The event is in German; attendance is free of charge


Ignore – Suppress  – Dramatize:  Reactions to Global Threat

The so-called systemic, creeping risks are underestimated by our society; they are partly ignored, suppressed, or—at suitable occasions—dramatized to the effect of conjuring a catastrophe. However, all of these reactions are inadequate to cope with today's complex and highly interconnected threats and lead to a standstill. There are basically three global focuses of threat, i.e., the increasing interference of man with nature (climate change, air pollution, utilization of land and water resources); a lacking or largely inefficient control of basic economic and political processes (capital markets, corruption, capacity deficiencies); and the negative side-effects of globalization and modernization (unequal living conditions, lack of security, loss of identity). In order to deal with these risks we need a transition toward a collective control model (governance), in which politics, economy, science, and civil society make a joint effort to control collectively binding decisions and establish the necessary framework for public and private actions. In this process politics would aim at resilience, economy at efficiency, science at effectiveness, and the civil society would aim at fairness and justice.

Publication relevant to the lecture: Ortwin Renn (2014). Das Risikoparadox: Warum wir uns vor dem Falschen fürchten. Fischer Verlag, ISBN 978-3-596-19811-5.

Professor Ortwin Renn

Professor Ortwin Renn has a doctoral degree in social psychology from the University of Cologne (1980). His career included teaching and research positions in Germany, in Switzerland, and in the USA. He serves, among other functions, as Professor for Environmental Sociology and Technology Assessment at the University of Stuttgart. He also directs the non-profit company DIALOGIK, a research institute for the investigation of communication and participation processes in environmental policy making. Prof. Renn also serves as Adjunct Professor for “Integrated Risk Analysis” at Stavanger University (Norway) and as Affiliate Professor for “Risk Governance” at Beijing Normal University. He is a member of a large number of Scientific Advisory Boards. His honors include a honorary doctorate from the Swiss Institute of Technology (ETH Zurich), a honorary affiliate professorship at the Technical University Munich, the “Distinguished Achievement Award” of the Society for Risk Analysis (SRA) and several best publication awards. In 2012 the German Federal Government awarded him the National Cross of Merit Order in recognition of his outstanding academic performance. Prof. Renn is primarily interested in risk governance, political participation as well as technical and social change toward sustainability. He has published more than 30 books and 250 articles, most prominently the monograph “Risk Governance” (Earthscan: London 2008).

Print this page

Last edited: 27 October 2014


Dr. Viktor Bruckman, Karin Windsteig

Commission for Interdisciplinary Ecological Studies (KIÖS)

Austrian Academy of Sciences (ÖAW)


International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
Schlossplatz 1, A-2361 Laxenburg, Austria
Phone: (+43 2236) 807 0 Fax:(+43 2236) 71 313