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Evelyn Fox-Keller (MIT): “What is a Rational Response to Catastrophic Risk?”

8 March 2012, 6:30 pm8:00 pm

Evelyn Fox-Keller

What is a Rational Response to Catastrophic Risk?

Thursday 8 March 2012 6:30- 8:00pm

A substantial literature on risk perception demonstrates the limits of human rationality; especially in the face of catastrophic risks. Human judgment; it seems; is flawed by the tendency to overestimate the magnitude of rare but evocative risks; while underestimating risks associated with commonplace dangers. Such findings are particularly relevant to the problem of crafting responsible public policy in the face of the kinds of threat posed by climate change. If the risk perception of ordinary citizens cannot be trusted; then it would seem logical to based policy decisions on expert judgment. But how rational; how trustworthy; are expert assessments of catastrophic risk?


8 March 2012
6:30 pm – 8:00 pm
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