Filmmaker Robert Lang is confused about the risks he faces – from his personal health risks to the big societal risks that might or might not threaten us all. So he goes on a journey to gain insight from the world’s top risk experts. He meets a brainy statistician at Cambridge University and an extreme ice climber on an avalanche prone mountain, a physicist in a nuclear reactor and a security guru at the finish line of the Boston Marathon. The twists and turns of the journey lead Robert to replay and reconsider his most risk laden life experiences – from a drunken joyride, to a murder on his doorstep, to a brush with nuclear radiation, to the pages of his family history that speak to current fears about the risk of terrorism. In the end, Robert meets a psychologist whose data proves that society will never agree on the biggest risks we face – that our risk perceptions will always be chained to our tribe. If true… we’re all screwed. But Robert doesn’t accept that. He finds a reason to hope, and the resolve to be more resilient amid uncertainty.
Will is the first and only ice climber to scale Niagara Falls. For 20 years he’s beaten risks as an extreme climber, paraglider, kayaker and more. He’s the opposite of a jackass. He’s a rational daredevil. And in Risk Factor, he shares his secrets of survival.
Knighted by the Queen for “Services to Statistics”, David is the Winton Professor of the Public Understanding of Risk at Cambridge University. In Risk Factor he demystifies the everyday risks that surround us.
Peter is a practising physician who is highly involved in training new doctors. In Risk Factor he reveals the challenges doctors face when attempting to predict our personal risks of cancer.
A professor of medical physics at McMaster University, Fiona studies the effects of radiation on living tissue. In Risk Factor, she reveals what science knows (and doesn’t yet know) about the health risks of low level radiation.
Grant is a Parks Canada Mountain Risk Specialist. In Risk Factor, he reveals how he led a team to improve avalanche prediction and rescue in the wake of the avalanche that killed seven Calgary school children in 2003.
Bruce is an internationally renowned terrorism and cyber-security expert – dubbed a “security guru” by The Economist. In Risk Factor he reveals that our society’s responses to terrorism are often little more “security theatre”, and why “building a wall” will just make things worse.
A high profile researcher at Yale Law School, Dan is the world’s foremost proponent of “Cultural Cognition” – a theory that our risk perceptions are rarely guided by facts. In Risk Factor, he explains where society’s disagreements about the big risk factors really come from.
We filmed some amazing footage that didn't fit in a standard TV hour. Our editor is hard at work packaging it into bite-sized bits for our YouTube channel. Sign up below or follow us on Facebook for latest news on web exclusives.
After nearly two years in the works, we're excited to announce we've just completed the one hour documentary, Risk Factor! We're currently planning screenings in selected locations across Canada and broadcast launch in English Canada on TVO and Knowledge BC and in French on Canal D.