Who is Dan Gardner?
Dan Gardner is a journalist, author, and lecturer who enjoys nothing so much as writing about himself in the third person.
Trained in law (LL.B., Osgoode Hall Law School, Class of '92) and history (M.A., York University, '95), Dan first worked as a political staffer to a prominent politician. In 1997, he joined the editorial board of the Ottawa Citizen. His writing has won or been nominated for most major prizes in Canadian journalism, including the National Newspaper Award, the Michener Award, the Canadian Association of Journalists award, the Amnesty International Canada Media Award for reporting on human rights, and a long list of other awards, particularly in the field of criminal justice and law. Today, he is an opinion columnist who refuses to be pigeonholed as a liberal or a conservative and is positively allergic to all varieties of dogma. If you must label him -- and he'd rather you didn't -- please call him a "skeptic."
In 2005, Dan attended a lecture by renowned psychologist Paul Slovic. It was a life-changing encounter. Fascinated by Slovic's work, Dan immersed himself in the scientific literature. The result was a seminal book on risk perception, Risk: The Science and Politics of Fear. Published in 11 countries and 7 languages, Risk was a bestseller in the United Kingdom and Canada. But more gratifying to Dan was the support of leading researchers, including Slovic, who praised the book's scientific accuracy.
In his latest book, Future Babble, Dan delved deeper into psychology to explain why people continue to put so much stock in expert predictions despite the repeated -- and sometimes catastrophic -- failure of efforts to forecast the future. Again, Dan was delighted that his book garnered the praise of leading researchers, including Philip Tetlock of the University of California, who called it "superb scholarship," and Steven Pinker of Harvard University, who said it should be "required reading for journalists, politicians, academics, and those who listen to them."
Psychology is fundamentally about how people perceive, think, decide, and communicate -- and modern research shows that much of what people assume to be true about these basic processes is, in fact, wrong. The success of Risk led Dan to develop a series of lectures that expose and correct those assumptions, helping people think, decide, organize, and communicate better.
Dan Gardner lives in Ottawa, Canada, with three young children and one exhausted wife.