Dr Brian MacGillivray

Dr Brian MacGillivray

Contact details

Email: MacgillivrayBH@cardiff.ac.uk

Telephone:  +44(0) 29 208 76132

Research interests

Formal methods of risk and decision analysis; the use of scientific evidence in public policy-making; psychology and sociology of risk issues.

Current research

Most of Brian's work looks at the methodologies of formal risk and decision analysis.  He is interested in characterising the rules of inference and choice that structure and pervade these methods, and in exploring their implications. He is also looking at how causal knowledge is encoded in formal models (in environmental and public health domains), and in the difficulties faced in using this sort of knowledge to predict the results of policy interventions. Brian also does some work on the factors that shape the uptake or neglect of scientific knowledge in public policy.   

Articles in journals

MacGillivray, B.H. Heuristics structure and pervade formal risk assessment, Risk Analysis, in press.

MacGillivray, B.H., Fast and frugal crisis management: an analysis of rule-based judgment and choice during water contamination events, Journal of Business Research, in press.

Cherry, C., Hopfe, C., MacGillivray, B.H., and Pidgeon, N., Media discourses of low carbon housing: the marginalisation of social and behavioural dimensions within the British broadsheet press, Public Understanding of Science, in press.

Busby, J.S., Alcock, R.E. and MacGillivray, B.H., Types of risk transformation: a case study, Journal of Risk Research, 15(1), 67-84, 2012.

MacGillivray, B.H. and Pidgeon, N.F., Humility needed in decision-making, Nature, 475: 455, 2011 (correspondence)

MacGillivray, B.H., Alcock, R.E. and Busby, J.S., Is risk-based regulation feasible? The case of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), Risk Analysis, 31(2): 266-281, 2011.

Alcock, R.E., MacGillivray, B.H. and Busby, J.S. Understanding the mismatch between the demands of risk assessment and practice of scientists – the case of Deca-BDE, Environment International, 37(1): 226-235, 2011.

Busby, J.S, Alcock, R.E. and MacGillivray, B.H., Interrupting the social amplification of risk process: a case study in collective emissions reduction, Environmental Science and Policy, 12(3): 297-308, 2009.

MacGillivray, B.H. and Pollard, S.J.T., What can water utilities do to improve risk management within their business functions? An improved tool and application of process benchmarking, Environment International, 34(8): 1120-1131, 2008.

MacGillivray, B.H., Strutt, J.E., Sharp, J.V., Hamilton, P.D. and Pollard, S.J.T., Benchmarking risk management within the international water utility sector. Part I: Design of a capability maturity methodology, Journal of Risk Research, 10(1): 85-104, 2007.

MacGillivray, B.H., Strutt, J.E., Sharp, J.V., Hamilton, P.D. and Pollard, S.J.T., Benchmarking risk management within the international water utility sector.  Part II: A survey of eight water utilities, Journal of Risk Research, 10(1): 105-123, 2007.

MacGillivray, B.H., Hamilton, P.D., Strutt, J.E. and Pollard, S.J.T., Risk analysis strategies in the water utility sector: an inventory of applications for better and more credible decision-making, Critical Reviews in Environmental Science and Technology, 36: 85-139, 2006.

Davidson, C.M., Gibson, M.D., Hamilton, E., MacGillivray, B.H., Reglinski, J. and Rezebal, E., The long-term environmental behaviour of strontium and barium released from former mine workings in the granites of the Sunart region of Scotland, UK, Chemosphere, 58: 793-798, 2005.

Pollard, S.J.T., Strutt, J.E., MacGillivray, B.H., Hamilton, P.D. and Hrudey, S.E., Risk analysis and management in the water utility sector – a review of drivers, tools and techniques, Process Safety and Environmental Protection, 82(B6): 453-462, 2004.


Research Fellow, University of Cambridge, 2009-2011
Postdoc, Delft University of Technology, 2009
Postdoc, Lancaster University, 2007-2009
PhD Risk Management, Cranfield University, 2007
MSc Environmental Science, Strathclyde University, 2003
BSc Geography, University of Glasgow, 2001