Craig Stark, University of California at Irvine

John M. Coates, University of Cambridge

Monday, 7 July 2014 at 14:00 in the Large Operon, EMBL Heidelberg

John M. Coates, University of Cambridge

The Biology of Risk Taking


There is a tendency to view financial risk taking - in fact any job done in an office - as a purely cognitive activity. But when we take risks, including financial risk, we do a lot more than just think about it. We prepare for it physically. This physical preparation then affects our performance in the markets. In this talk I present the results of a series of studies conducted on a trading floor in the City of London which involved monitoring traders' physiology as they made and lost money.


John Coates, Research Fellow at the University of Cambridge, previously traded derivatives for Goldman Sachs and ran a trading desk for Deutsche Bank. He now researches the biology of risk taking and stress. His book, The Hour Between Dog and Wolf, was short listed for the Financial Times/Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year, and the UK Wellcome Trust Science Prize. It was also chosen book of the  month by the British Army.


Coates, J.M., "The Biology of Risk", NYT, 7 June 2014