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How Risky Is It, Really?: Why Our Fears Don't Always Match the Facts 1st Edition
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More About the Author
I co-authored "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.
I am creator and director of the program "Improving Media Coverage of Risk", a training program for journalists.
I was a television reporter for WCVB-TV in Boston from 1978 - 2000, where I specialized in reporting on environment and science issues. I was lucky enough to twice win the DuPont-Columbia Award, one of the highest honors in broadcast journalism, and seven regional EMMY awards. I 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. I've taught journalism at Boston University, Tufts University, and MIT.
Top Customer Reviews
I read much of this same material in Daniel Gardner's book The Science of Fear. The difference between the two books is that How Risky is It, Really is designed to be a personal guide for evaluating decisions. For that it is very effective, but by its later chapters the material has gotten repetitive. The Science of Fear is not as easily used as a daily guide but its scope is broader and deeper and it concerns itself more with implications for the future and for society as a whole.
The book points out how the "perception gap" can be harmful: individuals continue risky behavior unaware, while over-worrying about the
wrong things; public policy is shaped by self-interested or ideological pressure groups, or by public opinion driven by scaremongering media.
There are suggestions for you as an individual on how to identify and counteract these psychological risk factors. The book concludes with a
discussion of the public policy aspect of risk communication. It is hopeless to try to impose some purely rational cost-benefit analysis on
the public, rather one should start by taking these predictable psychological factors into account.Read more ›
The first few chapters had some really exceptional material on risk & neurobiology that I enjoyed quite a lot, which is why I don't give this 1 star. Overall, the content of this book that was interesting to me could have been presented in a work maybe 1/5 of the length.
Interesting stuff on neurobiology in first & second chapter
Provided good definitions for terms to help discuss topic
Often repetitive & overly wordy. Could have used some significant editing
Good portion of the book simply controversial examples & author's opinion on what's right/wrong.
Occasional typos scattered throughout (found 3, and I'm no student of grammar)
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The author seems to not have a basic understanding of math. The review by J. Crowell explains one particularly bad example with respect to the author's calculation of the risk of... Read morePublished 10 days ago by T. Murphy
As we all know, risk permeates our lives and often dictates our courses of action. At the individual level risk assessment is often applied almost unconsciously, but at the... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Fuad R Qubein
Anyone who is in the profession of risk management should read this book. It is very well written easy to understand. Read morePublished 2 months ago by S. Green
It takes many pages to say what could have been said is less then one.Published 10 months ago by Richard A. Wilson
The first chapter of this book describes in fairly clear terms the way in which the brain processes information in a fight/flight/freeze scenario. Read morePublished 10 months ago by pumpkin
Clearly written Shows us how far off we are- using our intuitions.Published 11 months ago by Reader
This is a great guide for anyone who works for a large organization that ignores evidence based practices. Amygdalas beware!Published 20 months ago by Tom Ettel