Future Directions

Part of the Food Microbiology and Food Safety book series (FMFS)

Society would be safer, smarter, and fairer if our organizations and their masters could admit their limitations, declaring frankly that they cannot control the uncontrollable.

—Lee Clarke (1999, p. 137)

As we shift to a prospective outlook on risk communication, the future is fittingly uncertain. With the passing of each day, we advance in our understanding of existing risks. Conventional wisdom among many risk theorists is that modern life is much safer than ever before. Modern conveniences reduce risks in many ways. Medical techniques ensure longer lives for many people. Public health efforts have significantly reduced the threat of many diseases. Government regulation in developed nations protects the public against tainted food, faulty products, poor construction techniques, and dangerous medications. These advances, however, are compromised by continuous changes that generate risks heretofore never considered. In other words, the world is simultaneously a safer and more dangerous...


Risk Issue Risk Communication Strange Attractor Chaos Theory Tight Coupling 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Benoit, W. L. (1995). Accounts, excuses, and apologies: A theory of image restoration strategies. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.Google Scholar
  2. Busby, J. S. (2006). Failure to mobilize in reliability-seeking organizations: Two cases from the UK Railway. Journal of Social Issues, 56(1), 105–127.Google Scholar
  3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2007). Retrieved February 22, 2008, from
  4. Clarke, L. (1999). Mission improbable: Using fantasy documents to tame disaster.Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  5. Courtney, J., Cole, G., & Reybolds, B. (2003). How the CDC is meeting the training demands of emergency risk communication. Journal of Health Communication, 8, 128–129.Google Scholar
  6. Freimuth, V. S. (2006). Order out of chaos: The self-organization of communication following the anthrax attacks. Health Communication, 20(2), 141–148.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Hearit, K. M. (2006). Crisis management by apology: Corporate response to allegations of wrongdoing.Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
  8. Kauffman, S. A. (1993). Origins of order: Self organization and the nature of history. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  9. Keil, L. D. (1994). Managing chaos and complexity in government. San Francisco: Josey-Bass.Google Scholar
  10. Mandelbrot, B. B. (1977). Fractals: Form, chance, and dimensions. San Francisco: W. H. Freeman.Google Scholar
  11. Matthews, M. K., White, M. C., & Long, R. G. (1999). Why study the complexity sciences in the social sciences? Human Relations, 25, 439–461.Google Scholar
  12. McIntyre, J. J. (2007). Crisis narratives: Creating community order from chaos. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, North Dakota State University, Fargo.Google Scholar
  13. Murphy, P. (1996). Chaos theory as a model for managing issues and crises. Public Relations Review, 22, 95–113.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Perrow, C. (1999). Normal accidents: Living with high-risk technologies.Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  15. Reynolds, B., Hunter-Galdo, J., & Sokler, L. (2002). Crisis and emergency risk communication. Atlanta, GA: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.Google Scholar
  16. Reynolds, B., & Seeger, M. W. (2005). Crisis and emergency risk communication as an integrative model. Journal of Health Communication, 10, 43–55.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Seeger, M. W., & Reynolds, B. (2007). Crisis communication and the public health: Integrated approaches and new imperatives. In M. W. Seeger, T. L. Sellnow, & R. R. Ulmer (Eds.), Crisis communication and the public health(pp. 3–20). Cresskill, NJ: Hampton Press.Google Scholar
  18. Seeger, M. W., Reynolds, B., & Sellnow, T. L. (in press) Crisis and emergency risk communication in health contexts: Applying the CDC model to pandemic influenza. In R. L. Heath (Ed.), Handbook of risk and crisis and crisis communication.New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  19. Seeger, M. W., Sellnow, T. L., & Ulmer, R. R. (2003). Communication and organizational crisis. Westport, CT: Praeger.Google Scholar
  20. Sellnow, T. L., & Seeger, M. W. (2001). Exploring the boundaries of crisis communication: The case of the 1997 Red River Valley flood. Communication Studies, 52, 153–168.Google Scholar
  21. Sellnow, T. L., Seeger, M. W., & Ulmer, R. R. (2002). Chaos theory, informational needs, and natural disasters. Journal of Applied Communication Research, 30, 269–292.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Veil, S. R., Reynolds, B., Sellnow, T. L., & Seeger, M. W. (in press). Crisis and emergency risk communication in health contexts: Applying the CDC model to pandemic influenza. Health Promotion Practice. Google Scholar
  23. Weick, K. E. (1993). The collapse of sensemaking in organizations: The Mann Gulch disaster. Administrative Science Quarterly, 38, 628–652.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Personalised recommendations