GEOFFREY V. FRANCIS
Geoffrey V Francis is a retired professional engineer who specialised in research and development and forensic science. His post graduate studies at Imperial College, London included the development of computer based mathematical models for structural numerical analysis by finite methods. He was an independent engineering and science consultant for over four decades and has given lectures at various academic venues including Harvard University. He sat on technical standards’ committees and has acted as a peer reviewer for technical papers and has also focused on R&D and legal cases involving product and material failures. He frequently collaborated with scientists and other specialist investigators.
For the last ten years the author has studied the topic of Human Biases independent of a university faculty of social sciences. This approach was specifically applied to steer clear of the biases and paradigms that intrude into any group culture – including university faculties. This required the author’s personal biases to be assiduously monitored and managed. This approach was viable based upon experiences gained as a forensic expert where opposing specialists and lawyers relentlessly accentuate and criticise every potential bias, error, or omission in one’s thinking and reports. Decades of this work instilled a systematic approach to the investigation of assumptions, data, and opinions with a minimum of bias.
He lives near Toronto, Canada with his wife of over forty years; they have two children and three grandchildren. His current hobbies are mountain and track biking, weightlifting and following motor sports and its technology. He was a track & field (athletics) coach and national masters (veterans) record holder in the 60-meter dash. He has also started new businesses for innovative construction products and mechanical games.
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Thirty years as a forensic scientist, competition in competitive sports, and broad personal experiences have highlighted the details & persistence of bias which has revealed an important upgrade to the art of critical thinking.
We are all biased - including me; the best we can all do is acknowledge this fact; then learn to identify biases, manage their effects in others, and reduce them in ourselves.