Planning for Life's Crises

HOW SCIENCE CAN HELP US TO PREDICT AND CONTROL OUR PERSONAL AND GLOBAL FUTURES

Systemic Risk: What it Means and What we can Do

Some basic references for a talk that I delivered to the Aon Benfield conference “Risk Re-imagined” (Gold Coast, Australia, September 18-20 (2017)) IRGC Concept Note “Preparing for Future Catastrophes”...

Making the best decisions

Several years ago I was invited to write a book chapter on how we can make the best decisions in our complex, interconnected world. I wrote the chapter, aimed at a general audience and containing some interesting stories about how Benjamin Franklin, Charles Darwin,...

Superbowl for politicians

Op-ed submitted to Boston Globe after Patriots' Superbowl LI win. Pity they didn't take it, but here it is anyway. The message that it contains is rather important; like footballers, politicians need to adapt quickly to circumstances! When wide receiver Julian Edelman...

127. How can we cooperate? A new lesson from the bees

The world is rapidly going down the road of competition rather than cooperation. In doing so, as I have shown in previous posts and in my book Rock, Paper, Scissors: Game Theory in Everyday Life, its citizens face the deadly dilemmas exposed by game theory – in...

119. Science in the real world: predicting society

If you think that science, and scientific thinking, have little to do with the rough-and-tumble of the real world, think again – and take a look at this wonderful paper by a group of psychologists and mathematicians from the Cornell-Princeton-Yale triangle...

What Nepal really needs to do about landslip disasters

July, 2016 After hearing a well-informed talk by the experienced Nepal road engineer Bleddyn Griffiths about his experience of the Nepal earthquake disaster, I suggested that we write a joint letter about both the science and the realities, which are linked in a more...

The Great Barrier Reef is in great danger

Here is the self-explanatory text of a letter sent to the Sydney Morning Herald, but not accepted for publication. Perhaps I should have been rougher, because the original draft referred to the exposed backside as being in need of a thorough kicking. "The Government...

117. Global Governance of Slowly Developing Catastrophic Risks

Early in 2015 I was invited, together with co-authors from the International Risk Governance Council, to write a review on the above topic for a special issue of the journal Ecological Economics. The referees liked the writing, but wanted us to add more economics...

114. Mastering complexity – I’m going to give it a try

In story fourteen I argued that science, like sex, thrives on diversity. I quoted from Peter Medawar, and the quote is worth repeating: There is no such thing as a Scientific Mind. Scientists are people of very dissimilar temperaments doing different things in very...

Avoid major disasters by welcoming minor change

November 4, 2015 My World View article “Avoid major disasters by welcoming minor change” has now been published in Nature (Vol.527, p.9). Here is the link: http://www.nature.com/news/avoid-major-disasters-by-welcoming-minor-change-1.18718 The full article cannot be...

What scientists need to know about talking to politicians

My article in Physics World (August 2015) with John Tesh, formerly of the UK Cabinet Office, giving 12 tips for scientists to have effective dialogue with politicians. Here is the original draft: How Do Politicians Think? Practical Tips for Communicating Science...

Letter in “Nature”: More than 70 ways to show resilience

My letter "[Handling crises:] More than 70 ways to show resilience" has appeared in "Nature" (Vol. 518, p.35). Here it is, followed by the original unpublished 2013 paper on which it was based: Corres Fisher revised And here is the earlier unpublished paper: We need...

Fair enough?

Ockham's Razor, ABC Radio In Australia the topic of fairness is often discussed. For example we ask questions whether it's fair to raise the retirement age, we question whether our electoral system is fair, whether it's fair to allow racial abuse for the sake of...

Preparing for Future Catastrophes

International Risk Governance Council Report, February 2013 (http://www.irgc.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/CN_Prep.-for-Future-Catastrophes_final_11March13.pdf ) Executive Summary: Many of the serious problems that we face today follow a similar pattern, where the...

Handling Complex Situations in Real Life

Heron Island Complex Systems Summer School, 16–27 January, 2012 (Heron Island, Queensland, Australia) "Business is arguably the human enterprise that drives our use (and abuse) of natural resources more than any other activity. Business and the biosphere are therefore...

Radio Interview: The Big Question

Wisconsin Public Radio Hear selected major interviews on Crashes, Crises and Calamities: Joy Cardin Wisconsin Public Radio, “The Big Question”. Listen to podcast

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