Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies Program on Energy and Sustainable Development Stanford University


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December 6th, 2011

Charles Perrow discusses the "inevitability of accidents"

CISAC, FSI Stanford in the news

Writing in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, sociologist Charles Perrow argues that "some complex systems with catastrophic potential are just too dangerous to exist because they cannot be made safe, regardless of human effort." Perrow, a visiting professor at CISAC, is the author of the landmark 1984 book Normal Accidents: Living with High-Risk Technologies.




October 23rd, 2011

Charles Perrow: How technology can nudge climate change politics

CISAC, FSI Stanford in the news: Bloomberg View on October 23, 2011

Writing in Bloomberg View, Charles Perrow says U.S. investment in carbon capture and storage technology could "induce China and Europe to follow suit." This "would allow the world time for renewable-energy technologies to mature -- to the point where we could do away with coal burning altogether." Read more »



September 29th, 2011

Reflections on Charles Perrow's 1984 classic

CISAC, FSI Stanford in the news: Nature on September 21, 2011

As Japan attempts to move on from the Fukushima nuclear crisis, a scholar of risk and risk perception reflects on Charles Perrow's classic book about why complex technologies fail, and raises the key question that Scott Sagan asked in his 1993 book, The Limits of Safety: "Are normal accidents inevitable?" Read more »



April 7th, 2011

Charles Perrow: How we can prevent the worst

CISAC Announcement

In a revised and updated edition of his 2007 book, The Next Catastrophe, CISAC's Charles Perrow examines the dangers we face today and what we must do to confront them. Read more »



March 22nd, 2011

CISAC researchers: How the failing reactors could change Japan and the industry

CISAC News

As events unfold at Japan's troubled nuclear power plants, CISAC researchers past and present discuss the future of nuclear energy, regulation, and what could happen next.





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News around the web

Environment crises bad but not fatal for business
Many publicly listed companies with huge ranks of investors, such as BP and TEPCO, are simply too big to let fail, says Charles Perrow, a Yale University professor specializing in accidents involving high-risk technologies.
April 21, 2011 in The Associated Press

Lessons from Fukushima
FORTUNE -- We continue to populate our planet with systems that have catastrophic potential despite the known risks. Case in point: Nuclear power plants, which house fearful concentrations of hazardous materials, ...
March 28, 2011 in Fortune (blog)