Robin Hanson (born 1959) is an associate professor of economics at George Mason University. He is known as an expert on idea futures markets and was involved in the creation of the Foresight Exchange and DARPA's FutureMAP project. He is also known for inventing Market Scoring Rules like LMSR (Logarithmic Market Scoring Rule) used by prediction markets such as Inkling Markets and Washington Stock Exchange, and has conducted research on signaling. Hanson has expressed great disappointment in the cancellation of the FutureMAP project, and he attributes this to the controversy surrounding the related Total Information Awareness program. He supports a proposed system of government called 'futarchy', where policies would be determined by prediction markets. He is the lead editor for the Overcoming Bias blog of the Future of Humanity Institute of Oxford University.
Hanson has received publicity in many mainstream publications such as the New York Times. A 2003 article in Fortune examined Hanson's work, revealing, among other things, that he is a believer in cryonics, his ideas have found some acceptance among extropians on the Internet, and he was motivated to seek his doctorate so that his theories would gain more widestream appeal.
Tyler Cowen has described his book Discover Your Inner Economist as "an (attempted) rebuttal to Robin" and notes that he is a major intellectual figure in the work, which includes a fairly detailed discussion of Hanson's views:
Robin has strange ideas.... My other friend and colleague Bryan Caplan put it best: "When the typical economist tells me about his latest research, my standard reaction is 'Eh, maybe.' Then I forget about it. When Robin Hanson tell me about his latest research, my standard reaction is 'No way! Impossible!' Then I think about it for years."
Hanson received a B.S. in physics from the University of California, Irvine in 1981, an M.S. in physics and an M.A. in Conceptual Foundations of Science from the University of Chicago in 1984, and a Ph.D. in social science from Caltech in 1997.