Brief Bio


Robert E. Horn is a political scientist with a special interest in policy communication, social learning, and knowledge management (especially in biotechnology and national security affairs). For the past 7 years, he has been a visiting scholar at Stanford University's Center for the Study of Language and Information. His career has been widely interdisciplinary, leading a team (in the 1960s) that developed an information system covering 400 federal programs on education and training, editing a standard reference work that evaluated over 1,500 educational simulations in 35 academic disciplines (in the 1970s), and creating, while he was a research associate at Columbia University, a widely used methodology for the analysis of any complex subject matter. He turned this research into an international consulting company, specializing in knowledge management, called Information Mapping, Inc., (in the 1980s) which he founded and was CEO of for 15 years. He has taught at Harvard, Columbia, and Sheffield (U.K.) universities

His recent development of visual argumentation mapping has resulted in the publication of the Mapping Great Debates series, which, in the past year and a half, has received a full-page review in Nature, as well as being hung in a national museum in The Hague as part of an exhibit on information design as a fine art.

Horn is also Vice President of the Meridian International Institute on Governance, Leadership Learning and the Future, which is a policy think tank. For the past several years, he has been leading a project exploring the possibilities for using highly visual cognitive maps to aid the policy making process (especially science and security matters). His most recently published book is Visual Language: Global Communication for the 21st Century ( At Stanford he continues his research work in knowledge management and information design. His consulting clients have included Boeing, Lucent Technologies, Principal Financial, AT&T, HP, and other Global 1000 companies.

This year he was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award for the work on the Information Mapping method from the Association of Computing Machinery (ACM). He is a fellow of the World Academy of Art and Science and a member of its nominations committee. He is a Woodrow Wilson Fellow and a recipient of the Outstanding Research Award from the National Society for Performance and Instruction (NSPI).


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