Mad Cow Crisis: Health and the Public Good

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1998 Hard cover Good. No dust jacket. Ex-library. A red mark along bottom edge. Sewn binding. Cloth over boards. 272 p. Audience: General/trade.

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New York 1998 Hard Cover Very Good 0814775101. 247 pages, diagrams, tables, cloth, very good. From Book News, Inc. 'These 17 contributions take a multidisciplinary approach to ... the mad cow crisis, discussing its history and ramifications, and offering suggestions for predicting, avoiding, and managing similar crises. An analysis of media coverage, and a chronology of bovine spongiform encephalopathy and Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease developments, describe the crisis in terms of the public's perceptions of science. Several contributors note the need for precise communication by officials in a crisis of this type. ' Contents: BSE: a veterinary history / Lester M. Crawford--Transmissability of BSE across species / Terri L. Harpold, Michael L. Levy and Bradley D. Savage--Sheep to cows to man: a history of TSEs / Eve Brouwer--Can the spread of of BSE and CJD be predicted? / Steven Dealler--Chronic uncertainty and BSE communications: lessons from (and limits of) decision theory / Paul Anand--BSE and CJD: recent devel Read more Show Less

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Overview

In the spring of 1996, when numerous reports of bovine spongioform encephalopathy, popularly known as "mad cow disease," coincided with an outbreak of a similar neuropathological disease in humans, a panic spread across Britain, Europe, and subsequently to the United States. Described as "the biggest crisis the European Union ever had," the mad cow controversy raised important issues about the ways in which risks to the public heath are assessed, disseminated, and controlled. Was the "epidemic" merely a failure of management, the lessons of which could be incorporated into a new strategy for dealing with public anxiety? Was it an isolated case of poor decision-making in a highly volatile economic sector, or was it the kind of nightmare that could face any government responsible for public safety? And what role did the media play in exacerbating an already spiraling crisis?

Divided into four major sections-"Scientific/Historical Perspectives"; "Politics as Health"; "Understanding the Crisis"; and "Lessons and Possibilities" - Mad Cow Crisis assembles the perspectives of a range of experts on this strange and frightening phenomenon, with a view to helping us comprehend how and why such crises occur. Both a careful consideration of how we interpret risk and uncertainty and a step-by-step guide to managing public fear, this important book will interest anyone concerned with public health, communication, science, economics, and medicine.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
These 17 contributions take a multidisciplinary approach to the mad cow crisis, discussing its history and ramifications, and offering suggestions for predicting, avoiding, and managing similar crises. An analysis of media coverage, and a chronology of bovine spongiform encephalopathy and Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease developments, describe the crisis in terms of the public's perceptions of science. Several contributors note the need for precise communication by officials in a crisis of this type. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780814775103
  • Publisher: New York University Press
  • Publication date: 2/1/1998
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.50 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Scott C. Ratzan is Assistant Professor at Emerson College's Division of Communication Studies and Tufts University School of Medicine's Department of Family Medicine and Community Health. He is Editor in Chief of the Journal of Health Communication.

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Table of Contents

Preface
Acknowledgments
Introduction 1
Pt. I Scientific/Historical Perspectives 7
Ch. 1 BSE: A Veterinary History 9
Ch. 2 Transmissibility of BSE Across Species 15
Ch. 3 Sheep to Cows to Man: A History of TSEs 26
Ch. 4 Can the Spread of BSE and CJD be Predicted? 35
Ch. 5 Chronic Uncertainty and BSE Communications: Lessons from (and Limits of) Decision Theory 51
Pt. II Politics as Health 63
Ch. 6 BSE and CJD: Recent Developments 65
Ch. 7 Mad Cows and Englishmen 86
Ch. 8 BSE: A Tragedy is Public Health in Reverse 91
Ch. 9 The Politics of BSE: Negotiating the Public's Health 95
Ch. 10 Protecting Health: Can the UK do Better? 111
Pt. III Understanding the Crisis 117
Ch. 11 Madness, Metaphors and Miscommunication: The Rhetorical Life of Mad Cow Disease 119
Ch. 12 Media Coverage of the Mad Cow Issue
i Introduction 131
ii An Analysis of Media Coverage of the BSE Crisis in Britain 138
iii An Analysis of Media Coverage of the BSE Crisis in the United States 153
Pt. IV Lessons and Possibilities 167
Ch. 13 Avoiding, Averting and Managing Crisis: A Checklist for the Future 169
Ch. 14 Farming with Nature: A Solutions-Oriented Strategy 175
Ch. 15 Strategies for Attaining Public Health 182
Appendices 209
Afterword 234
Notes on Contributors 237
Index 241
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