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Conference sponsored by:

Center for Biosecurity

Deutsche Bank

The Contingency Planning Exchange

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Home > Events > Bulls, Bears, and Birds Conference, 2005 > Speakers > Peter Sandman


Peter Sandman, Ph.D., Risk Communication Specialist

Transcript  |  Video

Peter Sandman PhotoCreator of the "Risk = Hazard + Outrage" formula for risk communication, Peter M. Sandman is one of the preeminent risk communication speakers and consultants in the United States today, and has also worked extensively in Europe, Australia, and elsewhere. His unique and effective approach to managing risk controversies has made him much in demand for other sorts of reputation management as well.

Dr. Sandman has helped his clients through a wide range of public controversies that threatened corporate or government reputation–from oil spills to labor-management battles; from E. coli contamination to the siting of hazardous waste facilities. In the terms first popularized by Dr. Sandman, these are situations where the "hazard" is low, the "outrage" is high, and the core task is outrage management.

Dr. Sandman also works on the other side of risk issues, helping activists arouse concern about serious hazards, for example, and helping companies persuade employees to take safety rules seriously. Here the task is precaution advocacy in a high-hazard, low-outrage situation.

Finally, Dr. Sandman works on crisis communication–terrorist attacks and epidemics, for example–where hazard and outrage are both high and the goal is to help people bear their emotions and take appropriate actions.

A Rutgers University professor since 1977, Dr. Sandman founded the Environmental Communication Research Program (ECRP) at Rutgers in 1986, and was its director until 1992. During that time, ECRP published over 80 articles and books on various aspects of risk communication. Now a full-time consultant, Dr. Sandman retains his academic affiliations as Professor of Human Ecology at Rutgers and as Professor of Environmental and Community Medicine at the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. He received his PhD in Communication from Stanford University in 1971.