EPIIC Public Lecture: “Thinking the Unthinkable” Nov. 1, 2016 Nik Gowing by tuftsigl published on 2016-11-08T20:04:07Z Nik Gowing was a main news presenter for the BBC’s international 24-hour news channel BBC World News from 1996-2014. For 18 years he worked at ITN, where he was bureau chief in Rome and Warsaw, and Diplomatic Editor for Channel Four News (1988-1996). He has been a member of the councils of Chatham House (1998–2004), the Royal United Services Institute (2005–present), and the Overseas Development Institute (2007-2014), the board of the Westminster Foundation for Democracy including vice chair (1996-2005), and the advisory council at Wilton Park (1998-2012 ). In 1994 he was a fellow at the Joan Shorenstein Barone Center in the J. F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. In 2014, Gowing was appointed a Visiting Professor at Kings College, London in the Faculty of Social Science and Public Policy. He is a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Geo-Economics. He has extensive reporting experience over three decades in diplomacy, defence and international security. His published Harvard study in 1994 challenged conventional wisdom of an automatic cause and effect relationship between real-time television coverage of conflicts (the ‘CNN factor’) and the making of foreign policy. His 1997 study for the Carnegie Commission on Preventing Deadly Conflict in Washington, DC, similarly challenged conventional wisdom on assumptions about a role for the media in preventing conflict. Like the Harvard study it received wide attention and stirred new international debate. In May 1998 he completed an extended, acclaimed study funded by the European Commission into the effect of information control on humanitarian organisations and the media in the Great Lakes Crisis of Central Africa October 1996 - May 1997. His most recent peer-reviewed study is ‘Skyful of Lies and Black Swans: the New Tyranny of Shifting Information Power in Crises’ . Published in May 2009, it has made a significant impact worldwide because of its uncomfortable challenge to conventional assumptions of the nature of power in major, unexpected crises.