Coping with Uncertainty: Normative Approaches, Current Practice

May 22-24, 2017, Paris.


Photo by Zsuzsanna Nagy

In a wide range of human domains – from reaction to climate change, energy policy, regulations of new technologies, economic policy – decisions are dogged by extreme uncertainties. How should one decide in the face of such uncertainties? How should they be represented, and indeed measured, to best aid informed decision making?

These questions are relevant in many different domains, but so far they have dealt with these uncertainties in relative isolation. There is little interaction among risk analysts’ methods, engineers’ techniques, decision theorists’ models, philosopher’s analyses, not to mention the relevant domains of statistics, environmental economics, or the practice concerning uncertainty representation and communication in climate science or the nuclear energy sector. The aim of this workshop is to bring together practitioners and researchers from some of these fields around the two central questions posed above.

The hope will be that by fostering the discussion and confrontation of results, methods and practices, this workshop will contribute to a better understanding of the affinities and divergences among the approaches dominant in different sectors, and ultimately to the development of more unified and robust approach to the challenges posed by uncertainty.

This page contains recordings of the talks and discussions that took place at this workshop.

Monday 22 May, Morning Session

Charles Manski (Economics, Northwestern University)

Identification Problems, Statistical Imprecision, and Medical Decisions under Ambiguity

Robert Lempert (Pardee RAND Graduate School)

Robust Decision Making: Current Practice and Future Directions in Deliberation and Social Choice

Morning Q&A

Monday 22 May,  Afternoon Session

Seamus Bradley (Philosophy, Tilburg University)

Rational Decisions under Severe Uncertainty: A Philosophical Perspective

Brian Hill (GREGHEC, CNRS-HEC Paris)

Confidence in Beliefs and Rational Decision Making

Marc Fleurbaey (Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University)

Rationality Under Risk and Uncertainty

Afternoon Q&A

Tuesday 23 May, Morning Session

Anthony O’Hagan (Mathematics and Statistics, University of Sheffield

Eliciting Expert Knowledge and Uncertainty

Katharine Mach (Earth System Science, Stanford University)

Unleashing Expert Judgment in Assessment: IPCC AR5 and Beyond

David Stainforth (Grantham Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, LSE)

Decision-Specific Explorations of Climate Response Uncertainties with Complex Models – The Role of Non-Discountable Envelopes

Morning Q&A

Tuesday 23 May, Afternoon Session

Yakov Ben-Haim (Mechanical Engineering, Technion)

Innovation, Optimization and their Dilemmas: An Info-Gap Perspective

Casey Helgeson (GREGHEC, CNRS-HEC Paris)

A Comparison of Approaches to Deep Uncertainty: Decision Theory and Decision Support

Christian Gollier (Economics, Toulouse School of Economics)

An Economic Evaluation of our Responsibilities Towards Future Generations

Afternoon Q&A

Wednesday 24 May, Morning Session

Richard Bradley (Philosophy, LSE)

Decision Making under Model Uncertainty

Itzhak Gilboa (Economics and Decision Sciences, HEC Paris & Tel-Aviv University)

Second-Order Induction, Precedents, and Divergence of Opinions

Round table on challenges for the future