Stephan is a cognitive scientist, currently Chair of Cognitive Psychology at the University of Bristol and a member of the university's Cabot Institute. His research examines people’s memory and decision making, with particular emphasis on how people respond to corrections of misinformation. He has published over 140 scholarly articles, chapters, and books, including a recent journal article on how people process information about the Iraq War, which revealed the important role of skepticism in people’s ability to update their memories. He was elected a fellow of the Center for Skeptical Inquiry in 2015.
Stephan was awarded a Discovery Outstanding Researcher Award from the Australian Research Council in 2011, and he received a Wolfson Research Merit Fellowship from the Royal Society upon moving to the UK in 2013. He has contributed numerous opinion pieces to the national media on issues related to war and terrorism, and climate change. He is particularly interested in the difference between skepticism and denial when it comes to climate change.
He is one of the principals of http://www.shapingtomorrowsworld.org, a website dedicated to discussing solutions to the multiple crises facing our societies—from responses to climate change to new forms of generating energy.