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Winton Centre for Risk and Evidence Communication

 

We were delighted to welcome Prof Baruch Fischhoff of Carnegie Mellon University to Cambridge, to discuss his life and work with Prof David Spiegelhalter, the Winton Professor for the Public Understanding of Risk here at Cambridge. Professor Fischhoff is a global leader in the field of risk perception, and has a lifetime’s experience of researching and advising on communicating risk and scientific uncertainty.

With a perceived decreased lack of trust in experts and expertise, and the so-called 'post-truth' society, the communication of factual evidence has perhaps never been more important. Whether it’s doctors communicating medical risks and benefits to patients, intelligence authorities communicating terrorist threats to government, or journalists reporting scientific findings, all need to consider how their audience will perceive what they're saying and be aware of the effects of cognitive biases that we all have.

Both Professors Spiegelhalter and Fischhoff have worked with government bodies and national and international agencies to bring their very different expertise to bear on these vital issues.

BARUCH FISCHHOFF, Ph.D., is the Howard Heinz University Professor in the departments of Institute for Politics and Strategy and of Engineering and Public Policy at Carnegie Mellon University. A graduate of the Detroit Public Schools, he holds a BS in mathematics and psychology from Wayne State University and an MA and PhD in psychology from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and of the National Academy of Medicine. He is past President of the Society for Judgment and Decision Making and of the Society for Risk Analysis, and recipient of its Distinguished Achievement Award. He was founding chair of the Food and Drug Administration Risk Communication Advisory Committee and recently chaired the National Research Council Committee on Behavioral and Social Science Research to Improve Intelligence Analysis for National Security and co-chaired the National Research Council Committee on Future Research Goals and Directions for Foundational Science in Cybersecurity and the National Academy of Sciences Sackler Colloquium on “The Science of Science Communication.” He is a former member of the Eugene, Oregon Commission on the Rights of Women, Department of Homeland Security's Science and Technology Advisory Committee, the World Federation of Scientists Permanent Monitoring Panel on Terrorism, and the Environmental Protection Agency Science Advisory Board, where he chaired the Homeland Security Advisory Committee. He is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association (APA), the Association for Psychological Science, the Society of Experimental Psychologists, and the Society for Risk Analysis. He has received APA’s Award for Distinguished Service to Psychology and an honorary Doctorate of Humanities from Lund University.

Date: 
Friday, 2 February, 2018 - 16:30