A word from the Vice-President, Research

Mona NemerMona Nemer
Professor and Vice-President, Research

Risk: Research from the edge

Life is risky business. Whether we carry an umbrella for protection from the rain or submit to a full body scan to reduce the threat of terrorism, dealing with risk is an inseparable part of our daily experience, and indeed what we call life.

Since 9/11 however, the ante has been upped and our vulnerability to hazards has entered mainstream consciousness. From farmers to heads of state, the call for research on how to reduce the threats from an increasing complex 'global' village is becoming more urgent. What standards should we adopt to protect the environment? How safe is the food we eat? What will we do if the world financial markets collapse? How much freedom are we willing to sacrifice for security? In order to meet the challenges of tomorrow, we need to understand the seeds we are sowing today.

Risk is one of the most interdisciplinary forms of study you can imagine. This issue of Research Perspectives demonstrates that every field of study at the University of Ottawa has something to contribute to our understanding of risk, from the basic sciences to the applied sciences to the social sciences.

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