Home 4 Provost Seminar Series Podcast
Updated February 27, 2008
 
 
 

Biosocial Risk Factors for Violence and Intervention Implications

Adrian Raine, PhD
Penn Integrates Knowledge Professor, University of Pennsylania

Introduction of Adrian Raine by Terry Richmond

 
PREVIOUSprovostPODCASTS
 

Stress & Injury: Integrating Environment, Biology and Behavior

 
To listen to a podcast of the lecture series, click on a presentation title below:
 

 

The Neuropsychological Correlates of Forgiveness

Andrew Newberg, MD
Associate Professor of Radiology, Psychiatry, and Religious Studies; Director of the Center for Spirituality and the Mind
University of Pennsylvania

click here for Dr. Newberg's powerpoint presentation

 

 

The Effects of Face-to-Face Restorative Justice on Victims of Crime in Four Randomized Controlled Trials

Lawrence W. Sherman, PhD

Director, Jerry Lee Center of Criminology,
Department of Criminology, University of Pennsylvania
Heather Strang, PhD
Director, Centre of Restorative Justice,
Australian National University
Visit
ing Fellow, Jerry Lee Center of Criminology

click here for Dr. Sherman's powerpoint presentation

 
An Introduction by Terry Richmond:
 
 

Greetings and welcome to our Interdisciplinary Provost Seminar Series on Stress & Injury:  Integrating Environment, Biology and Behavior. Penn is a wonderful place with a plethora of disciplines in a compact, contiguous campus. It is great to work across disciplines, but it is sometimes difficult to create venues where disciplines can come together to think about scientific problems in new ways. I would like to thank Penn’s Vice Provost for Research, Dr. Steve Fluharty, and the entire Provost Office who not only understand the importance of interdisciplinary science, but provide tangible support for it.  We thank them

for the financial support of this series, now in its 3rd year.


Let me take a moment and tell you about the Firearm & Injury Center at Penn (FICAP), some of you know us well, others of you, this may be the first time you’ve heard about us. We founded FICAP just about a decade ago in 1997, with $10,000, which sounds like a lot of money, but it really wasn’t. My colleague, Bill Schwab and I believed that we could bring together brilliant minds of the many scientists at Penn to begin to address the socially complex problem of injury from gun violence. In order to accomplish that we recruited more and more players into the fold. We started by recruiting a lead epidemiologist; the first FICAP scholar-in-residence was a social ecologist, and our current FICAP scholar-in-residence is a criminologist. Those of us who live at Penn know that Amy Gutmann, the President of Penn, has detailed her priorities in the Penn Compact. One of the key aspects of the Penn Compact is integrating knowledge across campus and it’s a high priority for her. FICAP has lived this integration of knowledge for the past 10 years. We work with students from a variety of schools, including Nursing, Medicine, Public Health, Arts & Sciences, Social Policy, and Engineering. We’ve provided pilot funding to a wide variety of people over the years, including nurses, psychologists, information scientists, engineers, ethicists, surgeons, and actuarial scientists. And we welcome always to our presentations people from the community. We don’t all think alike, we may have very different perspectives, but we love giving voice to people with all perspectives, as long as we do so with respect. We couldn’t have grown as FICAP without Rose Cheney, who is a key member of our team. Rose is the Executive Director of FICAP and a demographer by training. So, you can see, we never replicate ourselves. She is our partner-in-crime, so to speak, and she has been instrumental in making new contacts, thinking of new ideas, bringing more disciplines together, and even taking us down paths that we ordinarily would not have gone. And in the long run, we’ve learned so much more from that. So from this short cast of characters, you can see that we like being with people who are not like us. We don’t want to play in our own sandbox, we don’t even want to play side-by-side in our own sandbox. We really want to play with others, think of new ideas and push the boundaries. That leaves us to today.

We are now in our third year of our series on Stress and Injury: Integrating environment, biology and behavior. In the previous two years of the provost seminar series, we focused on the biological effects of living in chronic stressed environments. We’ve talked about environmental stressors and their effects on the development of youth. This year, we are focusing on the consequences of violence from the cellular level to the societal level. Take a moment and think about violence. Violence and injury from violence often occur in the blink of an eye. A shooting, a robbery, a violent assault all happen in the blink of an eye, yet the consequences of it are unbelievably complex.  There are consequences that we don’t even today fully understand. As a nurse scientist, my program of research is focused on recovery and responses to injury. Thus, I have really been looking forward to this third year with its focus on the consequences of violence and injury. 

Today we have brought together two speakers, not because they work together, they have not. In fact, they just met face-to-face for the first time. But we brought them together because their respective bodies of work, in our mind, are connected.  Both of these scientists gives us pause to think about the consequences and responses to violence in a new way.

Take a few moments to consider the following kinds of situations. Think of a scenario where a youth throws a snowball at a car and later the driver comes back and shoots the youth. Consider gang warfare that escalates over time resulting in increasing numbers of youth injured and dying because retaliatory actions. Consider our system of justice and if justice metes out punishment and give thought to the following questions: “Is punishment vengeful?” or Is punishment focused on restoring order to the world?” Give some thought to living in the United States when airplanes fly into the World Trade Center and where the world seems to have become dichotomized. Where even the language we use dichotomizes the “Good Guys” and the “Axis of Evil.” Where we say “you’re with us” or “you’re against us.” All of scenarios take us into an area of thinking about similar concepts:  revenge, restitution, restoration. Now think about the recent injuries and deaths of innocent Amish children in a one room school house - and consider the response of this phenomenal community that showed unbelievable compassion for the family of the killer… and perhaps even forgiveness.

We’ve grown up with such sayings as an “eye for an eye,” “turn the other cheek,” “forgive and forget.” These sayings tell very different stories and what does it really mean? Mahatma Ghandi understood the power of language, and instead of, “An eye for an eye,” he said, “An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.”  He teaches us that how we choose to respond to events really does alter our future in that world.

As we think of all of these issues, we see a range of responses and ask ourselves, “How do we think about the meaning of responses to injury and violence?”  Today, we will explore these very issues.  The wonderful thing about universities is that it gives us the opportunity and, I would argue, the responsibility to struggle with how do we respond to violence and how do we respond to wrongdoing.
 
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