"David is an intelligent, knowledgeable, and thought-provoking speaker. “Risk Perception, Why Our Fears Don’t Match the Facts” lets you in on the secrets of human irrationality when it comes to the perception of risk and shows you why your company needs a different approach for communicating risk. Ropeik does all of this with memorable images and humorous examples that keep his audience entertained and engaged."

Ladd Smith, President,
Research Institute for
Fragrance Management


David P. Ropeik, Consultant in Risk Perception and Risk Communication

  • David Ropeik is an author, consultant and speaker on risk communication and risk perception to government, business, trade associations, health care organizations, consumer groups, and educational institutions worldwide.
  • He is an Instructor in the Harvard University School of Continuing Education, Environmental Management program.
  • He is author of How Risky Is It, Really? Why Our Fears Don't Always Match the Facts, published by McGraw Hill in 2010.
  • He is co-author of RISK, A Practical Guide for Deciding What’s Dangerous and What’s Safe in the World Around You, published by Houghton Mifflin in 2002.
  • He is a former Instructor of risk communication at the Harvard School of Public Health, and was co-director of the school’s professional education course ‘The Risk Communication Challenge’.
  • He is creator and director of the program Improving Media Coverage of Risk, a training program for journalists.
  • He is a member of the National Academies of Science steering committee on the Public Response to Alerts and Warnings on Mobile Devices.
  • He is a contributing writer for Psychology Today Magazine
  • He was a television reporter in Boston for 22 years, specializing in reporting on environment and science issues. He twice won the DuPont-Columbia Award, often cited as the television equivalent of the Pulitzer Prize. He also won a national Gabriel Award, a National Headliners Award (including a Best of Show additional honor), and seven regional EMMY awards.
  • He was a contributing expert to the Department of Homeland Security Task Force considering changes to the color-coded alert Homeland Security Advisory system.
  • He served as the risk communication member of the congressionally mandated Veterans Affairs Board on Dose Reconstruction, which oversees the joint Department of Defense and Veteran's Administration program to compensate veterans exposed to nuclear radiation.
  • He was an Advisory Board member of the America Prepared campaign for terrorism and natural disaster preparedness, a joint effort of the Department of Homeland Security, the Advertising Council, the sloan Foundation, and a consortium of businesses and individuals.
  • He has taught courses on media coverage of risk issues at the Harvard School of Public Health, the Kennedy School of Government, the Neiman Fellowship Program at Harvard, the Knight Science Journalism Fellowship program at MIT, Boston University’s Program in Science Journalism, the Emerson College program in Health Communication, and to the National Association of Science Writers, the Council for the Advancement of Science Writers, and the Society of Environmental Journalists.
  • He is a judge for the Oakes Environmental Journalism Award and a screening judge for the DuPont Columbia Awards for Broadcast Journalism.
  • He has written Op Ed pieces and articles on risk, risk perception and risk communication for; The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times,Atlantiuc Monthly (online), NPR (online), Parade Magazine, The Washington Post, USA Today, The Boston Globe, CNBC (inline), The Boston Herald, Newsday, The Sacramento Bee, the San Jose Mercury News, Health Affairs, Issues in Science and Technology (National Academy of Sciences), Congressional Quarterly, Commonwealth Journal, Post Graduate Medicine Magazine, The Journal of Environmental Affairs, and EMBO Reports (the journal of the European Molecular Biology Organization.)
  • He co-authored an essay on risk perception and risk communication with Paul Slovic for the 2003 edition of Global Agenda, the magazine of the World Economic Forum.
  • He has been cited on issues of risk perception in: The Economist, Atlantic Monthly, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, USA Today, The Los Angeles Times, TIME Magazine, The San Francisco Chronicle, The San Jose Mercury News, The Boston Globe, The Providence Journal, The Baltimore Sun, The Atlanta Journal Constitution, The St. Louis Post Dispatch, The Oregonian, The Seattle Intelligencer, The Miami Herald, The Denver Post, Macleans Magazine, New Scientist Magazine, Prevention Magazine, Psychology Today Magazine, Conde Nast Traveler, Money Magazine, and by the Associated Press, Bloomberg, Reuters, and Knight Ridder news services. He has been interviewed on risk perception by ABC “Nightline”, National Public Radio, NBC “Dateline”, ABC “20/20”, Fox News, CNN, CNN International, BBC, CBC, CNBC, Voice of America, Focus (the German newsmagazine), and dozens of regional radio stations nationwide.
  • Between 1998 and 2000 he authored the science column How and Why in The Boston Globe, syndicated by The New York Times. That column appeared on MSNBC.com from 2000-2002. He currently writes a column entitled “The Fenway Insider” for Boston.com, and occasional science articles for The Boston Globe. He has been host of the nationally-syndicated NPR public radio program The Connection, and guest host of a radio talk show on WBZ AM, Boston.
  • He has Bachelors Degree (’72) and Masters Degree (’73) in Journalism from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism.
  • He was a Knight Science Journalism Fellow at MIT, 1994-95, and a National Tropical Botanical Garden Fellow in 1999.
  • From 1991-2000 he was a member of the board of directors of the Society of Environmental Journalists.
  • He has taught journalism at Boston University, Tufts University, and MIT.