Rafaela Hillerbrand's research at FHI is about global catastrophic risk. Her research interests traverse epistemological problems related to the interpretations of probabilities, quantitative and qualitative modelling, foundational questions of statistical mechanics as well as ethical questions specific for decisions under risk or under uncertainty. The unifying question behind her research is the improvement of current risk assessments, with a particular focus on the unique problems of catastrophic risks.
Rafaela holds a PhD both in philosophy and in theoretical physics. Her book on foundational issues in environmental ethics and in ethics of technology was awarded the Lilli-Bechmann-Rahn-Preis in 2005. This year her work on hydrodynamic turbulence was awarded the biannual Natural Sciences prize of the Ingrid zu Solms Stiftung.