Perhaps the most important message from the research done to date is that there is wisdom as well as error in public attitudes and perceptions. Laypeople sometimes lack certain information about hazards. However, their basic conceptualization of risk is much richer than that of experts and reflects legitimate concerns that are typically omitted from expert risk assessments (Slovic 2000, 191).
Psychologists, sociologists and empirical decision researchers agree that concerning risks, intuitive judgments are a bad guide. However, there is an important ambiguity inherent to judgments about risks. Such judgments might concern the purely quantitative risk, but they might also concern the moral acceptability of a risk. Whereas intuitions are a bad guide concerning the quantitative aspect of risk judgments, intuitions might be inevitable and legitimate concerning normative, ethical1 risk judgments. This is indeed the position I will defend in this paper