Last summer I was fortunate to be invited to give a talk to the European Society of Criminology in Porto, Portugal. The talk generated a bit of controversy. Well, maybe not the talk but my presence as conference organizers were latter chastised for giving someone like me a platform to speak.
After my talk I was able to speak with a wide range of European academics--academics who wanted to integrate biosocial work into their classes and curriculums. To the person they told me that their colleagues blocked their efforts, that they were constantly accused of working in an area that was racist and/or sexist.
There are many stellar European scholars and much quality work has been done in the area of biosocial criminology by these scholars. They have remarkable data. They are well trained, highly competent, and insightful. It’s unacceptable that their politically motivated colleagues block their efforts.
On a lessor scale, the same thing happens in the United States. Faculty continue to teach that biosocial criminology caused the rise of the 3rd Reich, they continue to hold views about biosocial criminology that are anti-scientific, and many refuse to hire those trained in the area.
My Porto talk addressed some of these substantive issues. What is biosocial criminology? What can it do for us? What are the disciplinary impediments facing us? You can download and read my European talk and the corresponding PowerPoint presentation here.
John Paul Wright and Matt DeLisi
Professors of Crime and Criminology