ROBERT POOL, Ph.D. — a world-renowned author, consultant, and speaker whose areas of expertise include deliberate practice, deliberate practice training and education, and multiple areas of science, technology, and medicine — combined his history, physics, and mathematics degrees with his love of writing to successfully transition from researcher and mathematics professor to an internationally published author and successful consultant and speaker. He has taught science writing at Johns Hopkins University and has worked as a writer and editor at the world’s two most prestigious science publications — Science and Nature — and hundreds of his works have been published in the top publications in a variety of fields, publications that include Discover, New Scientist, Science, Nature, Technology Review, Forbes ASAP, Think Research, The Washington Post, FSU Research in Review, MIT Technology Review, and so on.
Dr. Pool co-authored his latest general audience book — Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2016) — with Anders Ericsson, Ph.D., the world’s reigning authority on expertise. Since Peak was released less than two years ago more than two dozen countries have purchased publishing rights, Peak has been translated into dozens of languages, and Dr. Pool has done numerous podcasts and interviews and been hired as a deliberate practice consultant and speaker by companies and groups around the world. His passion for deliberate practice and belief that it can change and better life as we know it has lead to his creation of various Peak Deliberate Practice social media (facebook, twitter, tumblr, pinterest, etc.) as well as a web site — peakdeliberatepractice.com — which he is designing to become an interactive community and forum for everyone interested in creating potential through deliberate practice.
Dr. Pool transitioned from academia and working as a professor to entering the field of writing in the newspaper industry, where his work as a business writer and science columnist earned him a number of awards. His work was so impressive, in fact, that it earned him international positions at the two most prestigious science magazines in the world. First he worked at Science, where he served as a research news writer and contributing correspondent. Then he served as news editor at Nature — during which time he also served as a science writing instructor at Johns Hopkins University — before becoming a freelance author.
For many years Dr. Pool has provided writing and consulting services for such prestigious groups as the National Academies — comprising the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), the National Academy of Engineering (NAE), and the National Academy of Medicine (NAM) — which serve (collectively) as the scientific national academy for the United States. He has written hundreds of important books and reports for the academies — many of them published by the National Academies Press — covering such topics as homeland security, intelligence and counterintelligence, vaccine safety, transportation safety, pollinator collapse, the obesity epidemic, forensics in the courtroom, literacy and education, etc. These works have made a profound impact on and substantial contribution to the world. (National Academies books and reports influence policy decisions and laws; are instrumental in enabling new research programs; provide independent program reviews; etc.) In addition to books and reports, Dr. Pool has participated in and served as rapporteur/author for numerous national and international think tank and problem-solving workshops and committees and written extensive workshop summary booklets for the Institute of Medicine, the Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education at the National Academies, the National Research Council Committee on Long-Run Macro-Economic Effects of the Aging U.S. Population, the National Research Council Committee on Understanding International Health Differences in High-Income Countries, the National Research Council Committee on Population/Panel on Understanding Divergent Trends in Longevity in High-Income Countries, the National Academy of Engineering Committee on K-12 Engineering Education, the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory for “Technical Revision of Congressional Budget Narrative” for nuclear physics section of the Department of Energy, the Institute of Medicine Committee on the Evaluation of NIOSH’s Anthropometric Survey, the National Academy of Engineering Committee on Assessing Technological Literacy, and the National Academy of Engineering Committee for Making the Case for Technological Literacy, among many others. Dr. Pool also provides writing and consulting services for various private sector clients as well as such groups as the Military Suicide Research Consortium, funded by the Department of Defense.
In addition to Peak, Dr. Pool has written many other successful books — four for a general audience — including Eve’s Rib: Searching for the Biological Roots of Sex Differences (Crown, 1994) — still relevant to discussions of gender and gender issues two decades after its first release, often quoted/referenced in current publications, and referred to as an important contribution and invaluable resource in our understanding of gender and sex differences in the human brain — and Beyond Engineering: How Society Shapes Technology (Oxford University Press, 1997) — which has remained on university required reading lists for more than two decades.
Although Dr. Pool specializes in deliberate practice, deliberate practice training and education, and various areas of science, technology, and medicine, his ability to write in all genres and all fields is proven by the breadth of his work. For example, Dr. Pool has written sections for junior high and high school texts, ghostwritten various articles and books across a wide variety of fields, served as a writing and content consultant for industry newsletters, and written for annual reports, corporate communications, and public relations campaigns. On a fun note, he has even written and published in the field of creative writing, including short stories, poems, and songs.
From the world's reigning expert on expertise comes a powerful new approach to mastering almost any skill.
Have you ever wanted to learn a language or pick up an instrument, only to become too daunted by the task at hand? Expert performance guru Anders Ericsson has made a career of studying chess champions, violin virtuosos, star athletes, and memory mavens. Peak condenses three decades of original research to introduce an incredibly powerful approach to learning that is fundamentally different from the way people traditionally think about acquiring a skill.
Ericsson's findings have been lauded and debated but never properly explained. So the idea of expertise still intimidates us - we believe we need innate talent to excel or think excelling seems prohibitively difficult.
Peak belies both of these notions, proving that almost all of us have the seeds of excellence within us - it's just a question of nurturing them by reducing expertise to a discrete series of attainable practices. Peak offers invaluable, often counterintuitive advice on setting goals, getting feedback, identifying patterns, and motivating yourself. Whether you want to stand out at work or help your kid achieve academic goals, Ericsson's revolutionary methods will show you how to master nearly anything.