Skeptics in the Pub – Andrew Rae – Dealing reasonably with irrrational fear

Thursday 18 July 2013, 7:30 pm - 10:00 pm
At: Banshee Labyrinth, 29-35 Niddry Street, EH1 1LG

Drew Rae SmallDanger – risk of harm to ourselves or our loved ones – is a compelling element in storytelling. Conspiracy theories, alternative medicine and urban legends all thrive on hints of secret danger.

As individuals and groups, humans are very bad at both estimating and comparing dangers. We will accept different amounts of risk depending on how the question is framed. We will less to avoid danger than we would want to be paid to accept the same danger. More importantly, when presented with two equal threats, we will sacrifice convenience, money and liberty to avoid one, but insist that it is an inalienable right to subject ourselves to the other.

Dr Andrew Rae is a safety and risk researcher. He ponders the question of how to reasonably assess and regulate risks in a society where safety officials face more danger driving to work than they protect the public from by performing their occupations.

Drew reports for the Pod Delusion podcast on issues relating to science and skepticism.

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