On January 16, 2019, European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) announced the publication of the  final guidance on communicating scientific uncertainty. This communication guidance complements the EFSA’s guidance on uncertainty analysis in scientific assessments, finalized in January 2018 (FPF reported). The draft document, published in May 2018, was subject to a public consultation that closed in June 2018 (FPF reported).

EFSA explains that “different audiences can better understand scientific uncertainties when expressions and communications formats are tailored to their needs.” This “new and targeted approach to uncertainty communication” is expected to “help communicators to further boost the transparency of [EFSA’s] scientific advice.” Barbara Gallani, head of communication, engagement and cooperation at EFSA, further clarified that the new communication approach “aims to increase understanding of how our scientific experts express their confidence in the methods and underlying scientific evidence used in their assessments, and in their conclusions about potential risks.” The guidance was developed with the help of “experts from social science disciplines such as sociology and psychology.”

Read more

EFSA (January 16, 2019). “Communicating scientific uncertainty: A tailored approach for increased transparency.

EFSA (January 16, 2019). “Communications methodology a breakthrough for social science at EFSA.

Andrew Turley (January 24, 2019). “Former EFSA boss criticises authority over communication of uncertainty.Chemical Watch


EFSA (2019). “Guidance on communication of uncertainty in scientific assessments.EFSA Journal 17:e05520

EFSA (2019). “Outcome of the public consultation on the draft guidance on communication of uncertainty in scientific assessments.EFSA Supporting Publications 16:1540E