Kimberly M. Thompson, Sc.D.
Associate Professor of Risk Analysis and Decision Science

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Professor Thompson's research interests and teaching focus on the issues related to developing and applying quantitative methods for risk assessment and risk management, and consideration of the public policy implications associated with including uncertainty and variability in risk characterization. Drawing on a diverse background, she seeks to effectively integrate technological, social, political, legal, and economic issues into risk analyses that inform public policy and improve decision making in what she calls the "Age of Risk Management." She created and directed the Kids Risk Project between January 2000 and January 2009,


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at which point she created Kid Risk, Inc. as a self-standing, non-profit organization that would continue the Project's mission. Dr. Thompsonís maintains long-standing interests in the issues related to variability in risk for sensitive sub-populations, particularly children, and the potential risk tradeoffs associated with policies designed to protect them. This led to a wide range of Kids Risk Project research topics, including injury, environmental, medical, and product-related risks, as well as perception of children's risks and the portrayal of risky behaviors in popular entertainment media. In January 2003, Professor Thompson co-founded the Center on Media and Child Health at Children's Hospital Boston with Dr. Michael Rich. Professor Thompson's research currently focuses heavily on system dynamics and dynamic modeling, particularly focusing on policies for polio risk management after the success of global eradication of wild polioviruses. As the use of quantitative analysis continues to grow, Professor Thompson looks at how the type of analysis used (e.g., cost-effectiveness analysis, cost-benefit analysis, decision analysis, value-of-information analysis, risk-only or health-only analysis, etc.) influences and determines policy outcomes. She developed and taught a course on Probabilistic Risk Analysis: Assessmsent, Management, and Communication. Building on her broad training, Professor Thompson focuses on the characterization of information and communication of risks. She developed a guide to help consumers take charge of health information that appeared in her 2004 book called Risk in Perspective: Insight and Humor in the Age of Risk Management (Newton, MA: AORM, available from AtlasBooks). She received her B.S. and M.S. in Chemical Engineering from M.I.T. and her Doctor of Science (Sc.D.) degree from the Harvard School of Public Health. Recognized as a Society for Risk Analysis/Sigma Xi Distinguished Lecturer and popular keynote speaker, she is a Past-President and Fellow of the Society for Risk Analysis (SRA), which honored her with its 2004 Chauncy Starr Distinguish Young Risk Analyst Award. In 2008, she recieved the Jay Wright Forrester Award from the System Dynamics Society for some of the Kids Risk Project's research on polio.

Publications:

Please see Dr. Thompson's complete curriculum vitae.

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