Rod Dobell completed his master’s at the University of British Columbia and received his PhD in economics at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Since then he has alternated between academic work and policy applications, working as assistant professor of economics at Harvard University, professor of political economy at the University of Toronto, for the Government of Canada, as director of the School of Public Administration at the University of Victoria, and as president of the Institute for Research on Public Policy. He returned to the University of Victoria to take the first appointment to the Francis G. Winspear Chair for Research in Public Policy. Over the course of his academic career interspersed with extensive fieldtrips, Rod developed an interest in the ways in which collective decisions are influenced by changing views of scientific evidence and democracy, changing structures for public participation, and changing beliefs about the relationship of humans to the Earth around them. Social policy, social cohesion, and social learning in a complex and uncertain world are subjects at the center of his current work as emeritus professor of Public Policy and senior associate at the University of Victoria Centre for Global Studies.