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The expert and the lay public: Reflections on influenza A (H1N1) and the risk society


  • Dupras, C.
  • Williams-Jones, B.


Trust between the lay public and scientific experts is a key element to ensuring the efficient implementation of emergency public healthmeasures. In modern risk societies, the management and elimination of risk have become preeminent drivers of public policy. In this context, the protection of public trust is a complex task. Those actors involved in public health decision-making and implementation (e.g., mass vaccination for influenza A virus) are confronted with growing pressures and responsibility to act. However, they also need to accept the limits of their own expertise and recognize the ability of lay publics to understand and be responsible for public health. Such a shared responsibility forriskmanagement,ifgrounded in participative public debates, can arguably strengthen public trust in public health authorities and interventions.

Suggested Citation

  • Dupras, C. & Williams-Jones, B., 2012. "The expert and the lay public: Reflections on influenza A (H1N1) and the risk society," American Journal of Public Health, American Public Health Association, vol. 102(4), pages 591-595.
  • Handle: RePEc:aph:ajpbhl:10.2105/ajph.2011.300417_6
    DOI: 10.2105/AJPH.2011.300417

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    RePEc Biblio mentions

    As found on the RePEc Biblio, the curated bibliography for Economics:
    1. > Economics of Welfare > Health Economics > Economics of Pandemics > Specific pandemics > Swine Influenza (H1N1)


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    Cited by:

    1. Maria-Laura Silva & Lionel Perrier & Jean Marie Cohen & Anne Mosnier & John Paget & Hans-Martin Späth, 2013. "Literature review of the decision-­‐making determinants related to the influenza vaccination policy," Working Papers halshs-00808536, HAL.

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