Ortwin Renn


Team Leader

Ortwin Renn, Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. serves as full professor for Environmental Sociology and Technology Assessment at the University of Stuttgart (Germany). He directs the Stuttgart Research Center for Interdisciplinary Risk and Innovation Studies at the University of Stuttgart (ZIRIUS) and DIALOGIK non-profit institute for communication and cooperation research. Since February 1, 2016, Renn has been appointed director of the International Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS) in Potsdam, Germany. Renn also serves as Adjunct Professor for “Integrated Risk Analysis” at Stavanger University (Norway) and as Affiliate Professor for “Risk Governance” at Beijing Normal University. Together with Armin Grunwald he co-directs the German Helmholtz-Alliance “Future infrastructures for meeting energy demands. Towards sustainability and social compatibility“. His career included teaching and research positions at the Juelich Nuclear Research Center, Clark University (Worcester, USA), the Swiss Institute of Technology (Zuerich) and the Center of Technology Assessment (Stuttgart). Among others he is a member of the Scientific and Technical Council of the International Risk Governance Council (IRGC) in Lausanne, the National Academy of Disaster Reduction and Emergency Management of the People’s Republic of China and several national and international Academies of Science. His honours include an honorary doctorate from the Swiss Institute of Technology (ETH Zurich), an honorary affiliate professorship at the Technical University Munich, the “Distinguished Achievement Award” of the Society for Risk Analysis (SRA) and several best publication awards. In 2012 the German Federal Government awarded him the National Cross of Merit Order in recognition of his outstanding academic performance. Renn is primarily interested in risk governance, political participation as well as technical and social change towards sustainability.
Renn’s interest in the history of nuclear energy and society originates from his early work on risk perception of nuclear power and is a recurring issue throughout his entire scientific career.
Within HoNESt, Renn acts as principal investigator and team leader of the research to be carried out in HoNESt by DIALOGIK, i.e. investigating perceptions and mechanisms for societal engagement with nuclear developments.

Relevant Publications

Rosa, Eugene A.; Renn, Ortwin; McCright, Aaron M. 2014. The Risk Society Revisited. Social Theory and Governance. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.
Renn, Ortwin 2014. Stakeholder Involvement in Risk Governance. London: Ark Publications.
Renn, Ortwin; Benighaus, Christina 2013. Perception of Technological Risk: Insights from Research and Lessons for Risk Communication and Management. Journal of Risk Research 16: 293-313.
Renn, Ortwin 2008. Risk Governance. Coping with Uncertainty in a Complex World. London: Earthscan.
Renn, Ortwin 1984. Risikowahrnehmung der Kernenergie. Frankfurt/New York: Campus.