Why is our society so risk-adverse when evidence suggests we are safer and healthier than ever before? How we form judgments about risk and the fact that we have both a conscious/rational mind and an unconscious mind that uses certain rules of thumb that can go very wrong? How do special interest groups and “health-fear merchants” prey on our perception of risk and use it to manipulate public opinion, health policy and make a buck.
Listeners are encouraged to join in on the discussion and to talk about media reports or water cooler health nuggets they may have picked up that scared the heck out of them.
Dan Gardner is a columnist and senior writer for the Ottawa Citizen, specializing in criminal justice and other investigative issues. Trained in history and law, Gardner worked as a senior policy adviser to the premier and the minister of education before turning to journalism in 1997. His writing has received numerous awards, including the National Newspaper Award, Amnesty International’s Media Award, and others.
He is author of Risk:The Science and Politics of Fear published in 2008