David Ropeik is an Instructor at Harvard University, author, and a consultant on risk perception, risk communication, and risk management. He is a former Instructor of risk communication at the Harvard School of Public Health, and was co-director of the school's professional education course, "The Risk Communication Challenge."
He is author of How Risky Is It, Really? Why Our Fears Don't Always Match the Facts and co-author of RISK, a Practical Guide for Deciding What's Really Safe and What's Really Dangerous in the World Around You, published by Houghton Mifflin in 2002. He is creator and director of the program, "Improving Media Coverage of Risk," a training program for journalists.
David was a television reporter for WCVB-TV in Boston from 1978-2000, where he specialized in reporting on environment and science issues. He twice won the DuPont-Columbia Award, often cited as the television equivalent of the Pulitzer Price, and also won seven regional EMMY awards. He was a Knight Science Journalism Fellow at MIT 1994-95, and a member of the Board of Directors of the Society of Environmental Journalists from 1991-2000. He has taught journalism at Boston University, Tufts University, and MIT.
We are sometimes too afraid of lesser risks, and not afraid enough of bigger ones, and getting risk wrong can be a risk all by itself. Research from several fields of science explain this apparently irrational behavior. These insights, offered here in the context of current issues which supply a constant source of real-life examples, can help us understand ourselves and our risk decision making, and that can help us make healthier choices about risks for ourselves and for society.