Abstract: What should be done about airplane safety and terrorism, global warming, polluted water, nuclear power, and genetically engineered food? Decision-makers often respond to temporary fears, and the result is a situation of hysteria and neglect--and unnecessary illness and death. Risk and Reason explains the sources of these problems and explores what can be done about them. It shows how individual thinking and social interactions lead us in foolish directions. Offering sound proposals for social reform, it explains how a more sensible system of risk regulation, embodied in the idea of a "cost-benefit state," could save many thousands of lives and many billions of dollars too--and protect the environment in the process.