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Colloquium with researcher Dan Kahan to focus on science, risk, and communication


Dan M. Kahan, a scholar of risk perception, science communication, and application of decision science to law and policymaking, will visit Penn State Law for a colloquium at 9:45 a.m. on Friday, October 18. His remarks will, in part, examine why Americans are politically polarized over risks—from the dangers of global warming to the impact of permitting citizens to carry concealed handguns in public—despite compelling and widely disseminated scientific evidence about the nature and extent of these risks. 

Kahan is the Elizabeth K. Dollard Professor of Law and Professor of Psychology at Yale Law School. He is a member of the Cultural Cognition Project, an interdisciplinary team of scholars who use empirical methods to examine the impact of group values on perceptions of risk and science communication. In studies funded by the National Science Foundation, Professor Kahan and his collaborators have investigated public disagreement over climate change, public reactions to emerging technologies, and conflicting public impressions of scientific consensus.  Articles featuring the Project’s studies have appeared in a variety of peer-reviewed scholarly journals including the Journal of Risk Research, Judgment and Decision Making, the Journal of Empirical Legal Studies, Nature Climate Change, and Nature.
 
Kahan is a graduate of Middlebury College and Harvard Law School. He was a law clerk to Justice Thurgood Marshall of the U.S. Supreme Court and to Judge Harry Edwards of the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. 
 
This event, which is open to the public, will take place in room 112 Lewis Katz Building in University Park and be simulcast to room 114, Lewis Katz Hall, Carlisle.
 
Kahan will also present "Tragedy of the Science Communications Commons," at 11:00 a.m. in the Heritage Hall of the HUB-Robeson Center in University Park on Thursday, October 17.     
 
The Penn State Institutes of Energy and the Environment and the Law School are sponsoring this event. For more information, please contact Lara Fowler at lbf10@psu.edu

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