Talking Book – Risky Conversations, The Law Social Psychology and Risk’

There are many myths in the risk industry that attract belief that have no substance in legislation or regulation. Many of these myths have evolved through fear, anxiety and ignorance. Greg Smith and Rob Long have undertaken a series of video conversations in order to tackle this phenomenon and these can be viewed here:

The book that emerged out of these videos is a unique blend of the transcripts of the videos and research, footnotes and margin discussions of key points and supporting evidence.


The book, video and now the talking book model what it means to have a risky conversation and implores the reader to undertake such risky conversations. We need to have conversations about risk and, risk having those conversations particularly with the courage to ask open questions, critical questions and to interrogate a great deal of risk and safety mythology in the sector.

Unfortunately, a sector fixated on compliance and obedience to rules, checklists and systems mistakes questioning and disagreement as wrong. If one doesn’t comply with the popular view or if one questions the symbolic mythology of the cult, one is deemed ‘the enemy’. Sometimes what makes a conversation ‘risky’ is that those involved belong to different groups or collectives.

This means that there is the potential for disagreements or confusion to occur based not on a difference of opinion over a particular idea, discourse or ‘text’, but over a deeper conflict of colliding trajectories of one or more, alternate, coherent views of reality, that is, different Collective Coherences.

This can happen when people belong to different groups that make assumptions about: … the nature of things, the categories in which they think, and the logic that organises these categories into a coherent understanding of reality.

It becomes increasingly clear that people live not in the same world with different labels attached to it but in radically different conceptual worlds. Hiebert (2008, p. 15). The following files are the sound track to the video series and are offered for free download as a talking book, enjoy.