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Risk, Interaction and Organisation (RIO)

Main Areas of Research

Membership of this group draws upon a number of areas of substantive research within the School. These areas include medicine and health, environment, energy, social work, criminology, health & safety, transport safety, technology management, and education. The common denominator is provided by a shared interest in the social practices and interactions associated with the management of risk.

Specific research interests include:

  • The growth of the technical discourse of risk as a universal basis for administration in both private and public sector organisations.
  • Risk-related aspects of the interface between different organisations, and between organisations and lay publics.
  • Futures
  • Regulation and enforcement.
  • Professional practice and expertise.
  • Deliberative and decision-making processes.
  • Risk, talk and practical reasoning.
  • Risk perception, risk communication and the media.
  • Methodological aspects of researching risk, including risky aspects of fieldwork.

The RIO Group provides a mechanism to:

  • Facilitate the sharing of information.
  • Stimulate critical and creative thinking in the areas identified above
  • Convene informal discussion meetings (open to all members of the School), sometimes with a guest speaker, and including opportunities for members to discuss work-in-progress in a supportive and constructive environment.


Current Projects and Other Activities

Barbara Adam

Michael Bloor

Rob Evans

Alex Faulkner

  • Alex is working on an ESRC-supported project on ‘Regulatory innovation of a contested technology zone: tissue engineering in the UK and EU’.

Ingrid Geesink

  • Ingrid holds an ESRC/MRC Postdoctoral Research Fellowship at the ESRC Centre for Economic and Social Aspects of Genomics (CESAGen) at Cardiff University, working on publications and dissemination of her PhD research. Her current research interests include emerging markets for stem cell and tissue technologies (both therapeutic and cosmetic) and the interface between global regulatory regimes and local economic practices. She is a member of the Cardiff Institute of Tissue Engineering and Repair (CITER).

Tom Horlick-Jones

  • Tom is researching learning and reasoning processes associated with nuclear fusion as an energy technology (2007-09). This work is supported by the ESRC and EFDA ( ), and is being done in collaboration with CIEMAT, a Spanish Government agency (, which will make possible a comparative cross-cultural examination of British and Spanish data. The project will also provide an opportunity for groups of lay citizens to ‘have their say’ about fusion and related matters regarding possible energy futures. He is also working on a book on ‘the everyday management of risk’; a theme about which he has been invited to speak, and chair a session, at the 2008 International sociological Association conference in Barcelona.

Helen Sampson

  • Helen is engaged in a range of collaborative projects. They are concerned with: occupational stress associated with seafaring (pilot work is funded by the ITF-Seafarers' Trust); perceptions of risk in relation to health and safety amongst employees in the shipping sector (funded by the Lloyds Register Education Trust); accidents and injuries at sea (funded initially by the LRET, and now the ITF- Seafarers' Trust); and risks to researchers engaged in fieldwork.

Jonathan Scourfield

  • Jonathan’s current work includes a project on ‘making gender visible in child welfare’, supported by the Canadian Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council International Opportunities Fund (2007-8). His other recent projects have included an ESRC-supported examination of the cultural context of youth suicide (2005-06).

Colin Young

  • Colin’s research interests include older people and ageing; carers, and particularly young carers; and the interface between health and social care. He is especially interested in practitioner-focused research, and his recent work includes a study of the discharge of hospital patients across the health/social care interface.


Links with other Research Groups


CISHE - health-related risk behaviour.

CESAGEN - genomics and society.

Cardiff Centre for Crime, Law and Justice

KES - risk and science, expertise and knowledge.

SIRC - maritime health and safety.

Qualitative Research Methods: Innovation, Integration and Impact Node

Research Group Members
    • Prof Tom Horlick-Jones - Research Group Convenor
    • Prof Barbara Adam
    • Dr Nick Bailey
    • Prof Susan Baker
    • Prof Michael Bloor
    • Dr Robert Evans
    • Dr Alex Faulkner
    • Dr Ingrid Geesink
    • Dr Sally Holland
    • Prof Michael Levi
    • Prof Mike Maguire
    • Prof Laurence Moore
    • Dr Lesley Noaks
    • Mr John Richardson
    • Prof Helen Sampson
    • Dr Jonathan Scourfield
    • Bambo Soyinka
    • Jasmin Tregidga
    • Prof David Walters
    • Martin Weinel
    • Dr Colin Young