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A Decision Science Approach to Climate and Energy Solutions

April 13, 2016 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Abstract: Decision science approaches any problem through three interrelated activities: formal analysis of the decision involved, characterizing how thoughtful, well-informed individuals would view it; descriptive research, examining how people actually behave in those circumstances; and interventions, informed by the formal analysis and descriptive research, designed to create attractive options and help decision makers choose among them.  Each activity requires collaboration with technical experts (e.g., climate scientists, geologists, power systems engineers, regulatory analysts) and continuing engagement with decision makers.  Carnegie Mellon’s Behavior Decision and Policy Working Group (http://www.cmu.edu/epp/behavior-decision-policy/) has pursued a decision science strategy in a variety of domains related to mitigating climate change or adapting to its effects, including preparing for sea level rise, adopting smart grid technologies in homes, and investing in energy efficiency for office buildings.  The talk will illustrate the approach through examples of the work.  When successful, decision science can facilitate creating climate- and energy-related policies that are behaviorally informed, realistic, and respectful of the people whom they seek to aid.”

Based on Gabrielle Wong-Parodi, Tamar Krishnamurti, Alex Davis, Daniel Schwartz, and Baruch Fischhoff, “A decision science approach for integrating social science in climate and energy solutions,” Nature Climate Change (in press).

About the speaker: Baruch Fischhoff is Howard Heinz University Professor, Department of Engineering and Public Policy and Department of Social and Decision Sciences, Carnegie Mellon University, where he heads the Decision Sciences major.  A graduate of the Detroit Public Schools, he holds a BS (mathematics, psychology) from Wayne State University and a PhD (psychology) from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.  He is a member of the National Academy of Medicine and has served on many NAS/NRC/IOM committees.  He is past President of the Society for Judgment and Decision Making and of the Society for Risk Analysis.  He chaired the Food and Drug Administration Risk Communication Advisory Committee and has been a member of the Eugene Commission on the Rights of Women, the Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Advisory Committee and the Environmental Protection Agency Scientific Advisory Board, where he chaired the Homeland Security Advisory Committee.  His books include Acceptable Risk, Risk: A Very Short Introduction, Judgment and Decision Making, A Two-State Solution in the Middle East, Counting Civilian Casualties, and Communicating Risks and Benefits.  He co-chaired two National Academy Sackler Colloquia on the Science of Science Communication, with associated special issues of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.  A recent review is Fischhoff, B.  (2015).  The realities of risk-cost-benefit analysis.  Science, 350(6260), 527.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.aaa6516



April 13, 2016
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
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Centre for Decision Research/Business School/Sustainability Research Institute/Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy and Priestley Centre


Baines Wing Miall LT (2.34)
University of Leeds
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