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Trusting Judgements: How to Get the Best Out of Experts

An accessible guide to the fascinating science of expert judgement, designed to help even those without a background in science to understand the subject
Examines what makes expert judgements error-prone, highlighting how these frailties may be identified and mitigated in real-world scenarios
Provides a comprehensive framework for interacting with groups to deliver reliable and accurate assessments of facts, offering policy - and decision-makers the tools to implement strategies to improve the quality and consistency of scientific advice

By: Mark A Burgman (Author)

214 pages, 56 b/w illustrations, 4 tables

Cambridge University Press

Paperback | Oct 2015 | #227393 | ISBN-13: 9781107531024
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £19.99 $25/€22 approx
Hardback | Oct 2015 | #227394 | ISBN-13: 9781107112087
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £54.99 $68/€62 approx

About this book

Policy- and decision-makers in government and industry constantly face important decisions without full knowledge of all the facts. They rely routinely on expert advice to fill critical scientific knowledge gaps. There are unprecedented opportunities for experts to influence decisions. Yet even the most experienced can be over-confident and error-prone, and the hidden risk is that scientists and other experts can over-reach, often with good intentions, placing more weight on the evidence they provide than is warranted. Trusting Judgements describes how to identify potentially risky advice, explains why group judgements outperform individual estimates, and provides an accessible and up-to-date guide to the science of expert judgement. Finally, and importantly, it outlines a simple, practical framework that will help policy- and decision-makers to ensure that the advice that they receive is relatively reliable and accurate, thus substantially improving the quality of information on which critical decisions are made.



1. What's wrong with consulting experts?
2. Kinds of uncertainty
3. What leads experts astray?
4. Dealing with individual experts
5. The wisdom of crowds revisited
6. Tips to get the best out of experts


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Mark A. Burgman is the Adrienne Clarke Chair of Botany at the University of Melbourne and Editor-in-Chief of the journal Conservation Biology. He has published over 200 refereed articles and seven authored books in ecology, conservation and risk analysis, and has worked in Australia, the United States and Switzerland. In 2006 he was elected to the Australian Academy of Science and received the Society for Conservation Biology Distinguished Service Award. He won the Royal Society of Victoria Research Medal in 2013.

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