Ragnar E. Löfstedt is Professor of Risk Management and the Director of King’s Centre of Risk Management, King’s College London, UK where he teaches and conducts research on risk communication and management. Previously he was a Reader in Social Geography at the University of Surrey, UK. He is also an adjunct Professor at the Harvard Center for Risk Analysis, Harvard School of Public Health where he co-directs the Risk Communication Challenge Course for continuing education professionals with Mr. David Ropeik, he is Adjunct Professor at the Department of Engineering and Public Policy, Carnegie Mellon University, and he is a Visiting Professor at the Centre for Public Sector Research, Gothenburg University, Sweden.
Dr. Löfstedt earned his BA and MA degrees at University of California Los Angeles (1988) and Clark University (1991), respectively, before completing his PhD in geography at Clark University (1993). After a post-doctorate position at the Risk, Society and Policy Group at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) (Laxenburg, Austria), he joined the University of Surrey as a lecturer in social geography. He has conducted research in risk communication and management in such areas as renewable energy policy, transboundary environmental issues (acid rain and nuclear power), telecommunications, biosafety, and the siting of building of incinerators, nuclear waste installations and railways. He is a believer in the building of public trust in regulators and industry via proactive risk communication and argues that high regulatory/industry trust is equivalent to low public perceived risk.
Dr. Löfstedt is the author/editor of ten books and over 90 peer reviewed articles/book chapters, is the editor-in-chief for Journal of Risk Research, editor of the Earthscan publications' Risk, Society and Policy book series, and is on the editorial boards of International Journal of Risk Assessment and Management, Journal of Health Communication, Risk Analysis and Risk Management. He is on the Society for Risk Analysis-Europe's Executive Committee and is the previous chair of the Society for Risk Analysis' Risk Communication Specialty Group. He is on the Academic Advisory Board of the UK National Patient Safety Agency, the Scientific Advisory Board of the UK Environment Agency, member of the European Food Safety Authority’s Advisory Group on Risk Communications and the Swiss National Science Foundation’s expert group on non-ionizing radiation. He is a senior advisor to the City of Vienna on risk communication and nuclear power and to the City of Gothenburg on climate change.
His work has been funded by the European Science Foundation, European Union, the National Science Foundation, the Swedish Council for the Planning and Coordination of Research (FRN) and UK EPSRC. He has given invited lectures on risk communication and management issues at Cambridge, Harvard Business School, Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, Harvard Law School, Jet Propulsion Laboratories-Cal Tech, MIT, NASA Head Quarters, Oxford, Princeton, and Yale School of Management. He has consulted widely for industry and regulators including Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association (CTIA), NASA, National Grid plc, Shell Oil, the State of Baden Wurttemberg (Germany), Swedish Chemical Industry Association, the Swedish Chemical Inspectorate, and Vattenfall AB. He is presently advising BBC News on how the corporation should communicate risk to the general public. In December 2000 Ragnar Löfstedt was awarded (as the first non American) the Chauncey Starr Award for exceptional contributions to the field of risk analysis for someone under the age of 40 by the Society for Risk Analysis and in 2005 he was made a Fellow of the Society for Risk Analysis.