Advisory Board

Professor Ortwin Renn

Ortwin Renn, Ph.D. is Professor of Environmental Sociology and Technology Assessment at the University of Stuttgart, Germany.
Ortwin serves as full professor and chair of environmental sociology and technology assessment at Stuttgart University. He directs the Interdisciplinary Research Unit for Risk Governance and Sustainable Technology Development (ZIRN) at the University of Stuttgart and he directs the nonprofit company DIALOGIK, a research institute for the investigation of communication and participation processes in environmental policy making. Since 2006 he has been elected Deputy Dean of the Economics and Social Science Department and Acting Director of the Institute of Social Sciences at the University of Stuttgart. He also serves as Adjunct Professor for Integrated Risk Analysis at Stavanger University (Norway) and as Contract Professor at the Harbin Institute of Technology and Beijing Normal University.
Ortwin earned his doctoral degree in sociology and social psychology from the University of Cologne. His career includes teaching and research positions at the Juelich Nuclear Research Center, Clark University (Worcester, USA), the Swiss Institute of Technology (Zurich), and the Center of Technology Assessment (Stuttgart).
His scientific affiliations include memberships in the Scientific and Technical Council of the International Risk Governance Council (IRGC) in Geneva, the International Committee on Integrated Research on Disaster Reduction (IRDR), the National Academy of Disaster Reduction and Emergency Management of the People’s Republic of China, in the panel on “Public Participation in Environmental Assessment and Decision Making” of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences in Washington, D.C. (2005–2007) and the European Academy of Science and Arts (Vienna and Salzburg). He serves on the Senate of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences (Berlin) and on the Board of Directors of the German National Academy of Technology and Engineering (Munich and Berlin).
His honors include an honorary doctorate from the Swiss Institute of Technology (ETH Zurich), the “Distinguished Achievement Award” of the Society for Risk Analysis (SRA), and the Outstanding Publication Award from the Environment and Technology Section of the American Sociological Association for the book: Risk, Uncertainty, and Rational Action coauthored with C. Jaeger, G. Rosa, and Th. Webler. Among his many political advisory activities is his chairmanship of the State Commission for Sustainable Development (German State of Baden-Württemberg). He is primarily interested in risk governance, political participation, and technology assessment. He has published more than 30 books and 250 articles, most recently the monograph Risk Governance: Coping with Uncertainty in a Complex World.
Ortwin authored Risk communication and the Social Amplification of Risk, Concepts of Risk: a Classification, and Three Decades of Risk Research: Accomplishments and New Challenges, and coauthored The Social Amplification of Risk: A Conceptual Framework, Credibility and Trust in Risk Communication, Public Participation in Decision Making: A Three-Step Procedure, A New Approach to Risk Evaluation and Management: Risk-Based, Precaution-Based, and Discourse-Based Strategies, and The Social Amplification of Risk: Theoretical Foundations and Empirical Applications. Read a selected list of his publications!
Watch Ortwin Renn on Risk Governance and ZEF: Risk and uncertainty seminar with Professor Ortwin Renn, Read his LinkedIn profile.