Robert Root-Bernstein (b. August 7, 1953) (Ph.D., Princeton University) is a professor of physiology at Michigan State University. In 1981, he was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship, commonly known as a "genius grant."
He has also researched and consulted on creativity for more than fifteen years. Among other books, he has authored Sparks of Genius: The Thirteen Thinking Tools of the World's Most Creative People, Discovering: Inventing and Solving Problems at the Frontiers of Scientific Knowledge, and Rethinking AIDS: The Tragic Cost of Premature Consensus. In Rethinking AIDS, Root-Bernstein postulated that factors in addition to HIV may contribute to AIDS. Root-Bernstein is a former member of the Group for the Scientific Reappraisal of the HIV-AIDS Hypothesis, a group of AIDS denialists.
Root-Bernstein suggests that HIV, while involved in the development of AIDS, may be no more important than "co-factors": "Both the camp that says HIV is a pussycat and the people who claim AIDS is all HIV are wrong." He has distanced himself from AIDS denialists who argue that HIV is harmless, saying, "The denialists make claims that are clearly inconsistent with existing studies. When I check the existing studies, I don’t agree with the interpretation of the data, or, worse, I can’t find the studies [at all]."
- Discovering: Inventing and Solving Problems at the Frontiers of Science, Harvard University Press, 1989.
- Rethinking AIDS: The Tragic Cost of Premature Consensus, Free Press, 1993, ISBN 978-0-02-926905-3
- Honey, Mud, Maggots and Other Medical Marvels, (with Michele Root-Bernstein), Houghton Mifflin, 1997.
- Sparks of Genius: The Thirteen Thinking Tools of the World's Most Creative People, Houghton Mifflin, 1999.