Paul Raeburn
Journalist, Author of Several Books About Parenting

Paul Raeburn is one of the most widely published and influential science writers and broadcasters in the country. He has been the science editor at The Associated Press and BusinessWeek, and for the past 15 years he has focused on writing and research on children, fathers, parenting, and mental health.


Paul talks about parenting as seen from a science perspective. He sorts through the folklore and myths of parenting in a search for what we really know about how to be better parents. He also talks about how game theory–the science of strategic thinking–can help us become better parents. And he has spoken often about the trials and the joys of parenting children with mental illness.


Paul’s work has appeared in Discover, The Huffington Post, The New York Times Magazine, Scientific American, Psychology Today,, Child, Self, Health, and many others. He has appeared widely on television (This Week in Business, CNNMoney) and radio (Science Friday, Morning Edition). He was also the creator, executive producer and host of Innovations in Medicine and The Washington Health Report on XM satellite radio.


Paul’s most recent books are The Game Theorist’s Guide To Parenting: How the Science of Negotiation Can Help You Deal With the Toughest Negotiators You Know—Your Kids  and Do Fathers Matter? The New Science of Fatherhood. He is a warm and engaging speaker with a uniquely reliable and trustworthy view of contemporary children and parents.


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THE GAME THEORIST’S GUIDE TO PARENTINGHow the Science of Strategic Thinking Can Help You Deal with the Toughest Negotiators You Know--Your Kids
Scientific American / Farrar, Straus and Giroux

In The Game Theorist’s Guide to Parenting, the award-winning journalist and father of five Paul Raeburn highlights tactics from the worlds of economics and business that can help parents break the endless cycle of quarrels and ineffective solutions.

DO FATHERS MATTER?What Science Is Telling Us About the Parent We've Overlooked
Scientific American / Farrar, Straus and Giroux

In Do Fathers Matter? the award-winning journalist and father of five Paul Raeburn overturns the lingering myths and stereotypes of bumbling dads and disciplinarian patriarchs through an in-depth and personal investigation of the latest scientific findings on the parent we've often overlooked.

Why Fathers Matter In this talk, Paul shares startling new research on how fathers are intimately connected to their children and how important they are to raising healthy kids. It’s a revolution in the understanding of what makes good parents. Paul explains how fathers play a vital role in their children’s language development; how they show a strong hormonal attachment to their children, beginning even during their partner’s pregnancy; and how they can speed their children's development and ease social anxiety through play. This new research is showing men how to be the best fathers they can be, and showing women how to encourage men to balance work, home, marriage, and children.

Mental illness in kids: What we know about it--and what we can do about it It can come as a shock: a bright, happy child suddenly turns inward and morose. Nothing seems to make the child happy, and parents’ concerns turn into paralyzing fears that something is really wrong. And doctors, school officials, police, and insurance companies become overwhelming obstacles to getting good care. As a parent who has lived through this, Paul provides advice on the things that parents can do when they encounter this type of situation.

Game-theory parenting: Teaching kids to negotiate, cooperate, be fair—and be nice This might come as a shock to parents, but children are designed to cooperate and to treat each other fairly. Surprised? Of course, because the way they behave can make us despair of ever turning them into responsible, respectful, and well liked adults. Paul shows how game theory—the science of strategic thinking--can help us encourage all the qualities we want to see in our children. It’s a question of using the right strategy to let kids be kids. See how games such as “I Cut, You Pick,” “Rock, Paper, Scissors,” and “The Ultimatum Game" can be used to understand how children behave and help them mature into healthy adults.

Read an excerpt from Paul’s book The Game Theorist’s Guide to Parenting in Scientific American

Paul discusses children’s experiences with depression with NPR’s Morning Edition

Paul explores the concept of journalist as advocate in a feature for Undark

The Washington Post says Do Fathers Matter? is “a helpful review of the new generation of research devoted to identifying the impact of dads” in their review

Read The New Yorker’s review of Do Fathers Matter?

Praise for Paul Raeburn's lectures:

"Paul knows his stuff and was able to speak with authority regarding the science around fathers, and he focused on pregnancy and early childhood – which was exactly where our groups interests were. He was on time and the Q and A afterwards showed that he had grabbed the attention of the attendees."
--Carol Edwards, SPELL (Supporting Parents in Early Literacy through Libraries) Grant Coordinator & Colorado State Library

“Thank you for supporting this great event and sharing your knowledge and life experiences as our keynote speaker. Your energy and passion for this important work is evident, and at the same time matter-of-fact. Your approach makes theory practical for fathers, making connections that help children and dads thrive in their relationships. As keynote speaker you helped our vision for this year become reality, evidenced by the positive comments received from attendees.”
--Colleen Warren and the New England Fathering Conference Planning Committee

"Thank you for coming to Seymour to present such an informative parent workshop, and for sharing your expertise on fatherhood. I enjoyed listening to the research about why fathers matter and hearing about how we can apply game theory strategies to different areas of our lives."
--Mary Sue Feige, Bungay Elementary School Principal, Seymour, Connecticut

“It was a great night and I've received a lot of positive feedback from both sessions. People really enjoyed the content of your talks and the Q&A seemed to get everyone thinking about ways they can make meaningful connections with their kids. You gave a lot of practical advice which people seemed to be looking for and as you mentioned, hearing the fascinating science behind it all adds validity beyond all the pop psychology and anecdotal evidence. I think that message really resonated with the audience.”
--Krissy Schmitz, Greenwich Academy