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Global consequences of unsound economic practices

March 3, 2010

KALAMAZOO--The disruption caused by unsound economic practices to global economic and social order is the topic of a free lecture from 1 to 2:30 p.m. Friday, March 12, on the campus of Western Michigan University.

Renowned risk expert Dr. William Leiss, a scientist with the McLaughlin Center for Population Health Risk Assessment at the University of Ottawa, will speak in Room 1260 of the Chemistry Building on "Risky Business: Living with Catastrophe." His lecture will highlight the volatile global financial situation as a perfect example of the importance of managing risk and the consequences of poor decision-making. It further reveals one of the paradoxes of risk management: the better people become at assessing risks, the more comfortable they feel taking them.

Using the current financial crisis as an example, Leiss will discuss the concept of "systemic risk," which is risk so great that recovery from its negative consequences may prove impossible. His analysis shows the practices that led up to the current economic crisis and how it became common to use limited risk assessments as a justification to gamble huge amounts of money on unsound economic policies.

Among his many other honors, Leiss was president from 1999-2001 of the Royal Society of Canada, a prestigious scholarly society in Canada dedicated to encouraging education and the advancement of knowledge in the natural and social sciences and the humanities.

While at WMU, he will also be giving a master class to upperclassmen and graduate students on writing science-based fiction. He is the author of science fiction series "Herasaga."

For more information contact the WMU Graduate College, the event sponsor, at (269) 387-8212.

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Media contact: Deanne Puca, (269) 387-8400, deanne.puca@wmich.edu

WMU News
Office of University Relations
Western Michigan University
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5433 USA
(269) 387-8400