Risk communication is important especially to the public in the form of an attractive and consumable product at times when they need it the most. At the same time, the public involvement and engagement with risk communication practices may offer a multilateral diffusion of such knowledge that empowers people with the ability to take not only informed but also analytical and rational decisions to combat and overcome the risks. Corporate sector has an added social responsibility to achieve this objective. Especially, in the emerging countries like India, a number of corporate houses, national, multinational or international are engaged in a variety of activities ranging from research and development to production and manufacturing causing a plethora of risks with multiple magnitudes. They are expected to educate the public, make the people aware and build the capabilities into them to be able to fight against hunger, drought, diseases, disasters, and superstitions with courage and self-confidence. An account on role of corporate sector in risk communication with reference to developing countries is being given in this paper; i.e. i) Creating public awareness as what a particular corporate firm does; ii) How it is going to benefit or harm the public (for example: Union Carbide Corporation, India did not inform the public about possible Methyl Isocyanate gas leak, that caused thousands of casualties in Bhopal, India on 02 December 1984); iii) Providing informal risk education to the public; iv) Solving local problems causing risks with communication inputs and management interventions; and v) Improving the quality of their public relations and promotional programmes, etc. The paper discovers a range of issues and problems concerning corporate sector and risk communication and identifies certain possible solutions.

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Public Communication of Science and Technology

 

Risk communication in India
Emerging perspective

Manoj K Patairiya   National Council for Science & Technology Communication (NCSTC)

Risk communication is important especially to the public in the form of an attractive and consumable product at times when they need it the most. At the same time, the public involvement and engagement with risk communication practices may offer a multilateral diffusion of such knowledge that empowers people with the ability to take not only informed but also analytical and rational decisions to combat and overcome the risks. Corporate sector has an added social responsibility to achieve this objective. Especially, in the emerging countries like India, a number of corporate houses, national, multinational or international are engaged in a variety of activities ranging from research and development to production and manufacturing causing a plethora of risks with multiple magnitudes. They are expected to educate the public, make the people aware and build the capabilities into them to be able to fight against hunger, drought, diseases, disasters, and superstitions with courage and self-confidence. An account on role of corporate sector in risk communication with reference to developing countries is being given in this paper; i.e. i) Creating public awareness as what a particular corporate firm does; ii) How it is going to benefit or harm the public (for example: Union Carbide Corporation, India did not inform the public about possible Methyl Isocyanate gas leak, that caused thousands of casualties in Bhopal, India on 02 December 1984); iii) Providing informal risk education to the public; iv) Solving local problems causing risks with communication inputs and management interventions; and v) Improving the quality of their public relations and promotional programmes, etc. The paper discovers a range of issues and problems concerning corporate sector and risk communication and identifies certain possible solutions.

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