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Risk Savvy: how to make good decisions

CPNSS public lecture

Date: Wednesday 21 May 2014 
Time: 6.30-8pm 
Venue: Old Theatre, Old Building
Speaker: Professor Gerd Gigerenzer 
Chair: Professor Jason Alexander 

Remember the volcanic ash cloud over Iceland? The subprime disaster? What about mad cow disease? Each new crisis makes us worry until we start worrying about the next one. When something goes wrong, we are told that the way to prevent further crises is through better technology, more laws, and bigger bureaucracy. How to protect ourselves from the threat of terrorism? Homeland security, full body scanners, further sacrifice of individual freedom. How to counteract exploding costs in health care? Tax hikes, rationalization, better genetic markers. One idea is absent from these lists: risk-savvy citizens. And there is a reason for that. Many experts have concluded that people are basically hopeless when it comes to risk and, like a child who needs a parent, require continuous “nudging." Against this pessimistic view, I will argue that instead of being the solution, experts are often part of the problem, and that everyone can learn to deal with risk and uncertainty on their own. A democracy needs risk-savvy citizens who cannot be easily frightened into surrendering their money, their welfare, and their liberty.

Gerd Gigerenzer is managing director of the Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Berlin, former professor of psychology at the University of Chicago and author of Risk Savvy: How to Make Good Decisions.

Suggested hashtag for this event for Twitter users: #LSErisk

This event is free and open to all with no ticket or pre-registration required. Entry is on a first come, first served basis. For any queries see LSE Events FAQ or contact us at events@lse.ac.uk 0207 955 6043


A podcast of this event is available to download from Risk Savvy: how to make good decisions

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This event has been certified for CPD purposes by the CPD Certification Service. Self-Assessment Record forms will be made available for delegates wishing to record further learning and knowledge enhancement for Continuing Personal and Professional Development (CPD) purposes. For delegates who wish to obtain a CPD Certificate of Attendance, it is the responsibility of delegates to register their details with a LSE steward at the end of the event and as of 1 September 2014 a certificate will be sent within 28 days of the date of the event attended by the CPD Certification Service.  If a delegate fails to register their details at the event, it will not prove possible to issue a certificate. (For queries relating to CPD Certificates of attendance after a request please phone 0208 840 4383 or email info@cpduk.co.uk).