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Ideas for the future of safety science

Abstract : This article is a contribution to the special issue on the future of safety science. It discusses the three areas indicated in the call by the editors: history and evolution of safety science; new models, processes and theories in safety science and emerging risks in safety science. In the first section on the history and evolution of the field, (Re)writing history, I argue that an interesting task is to challenge what has become a taken for granted view of the past. I illustrate this claim by revisiting and challenging the popular view of safety which describes three ages in the evolution of safety science (technical, human and organisational). I then reinforce this by arguing about the presence of relatively independent research traditions which structure our understanding of safety. In the second section on new models, processes and theories, Convergence versus Divergence, I discuss the problem of research traditions developing independently, and I advocate a strategy of convergence to complement this process of divergence, while shortly discussing the practice-theory gap. Finally, in the second section on emerging risks, How is safety globalised?, I argue that one challenge for safety research is to keep up with changes, some of which are perhaps of an unprecedent scale.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, September 14, 2022 - 8:58:41 AM
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Jean-Christophe Le Coze. Ideas for the future of safety science. Safety Science, Elsevier, 2020, 132, 104966. ⟨10.1016/j.ssci.2020.104966⟩. ⟨ineris-03318128⟩



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