Newsletter Article

2013 Edwards Lecture Series: The Science of Psychology in the Real World

In each year since 2004, the Psychology Department has hosted a public lecture series made possible by a generous endowment by Professor Allen Louis Edwards who was affiliated with the University of Washington’s Department of Psychology from his arrival in 1944 as an Associate Professor to his death in 1994. In this annual series, world renowned leaders in a variety of Psychology research areas join our faculty for three evening public lectures on important issues facing our society.

This year, the 8th Annual Public Lecture Series addresses the theme of The Science of Psychology in the Real World. Our three featured faculty include: Dr. Peter Kahn (Feb. 20), Dr. Kevin King (Feb. 27), and Dr. Geoffrey Loftus (Mar. 6). Descriptions of their upcoming lectures can be found below. Also, you will find the names of the world renowned colleagues who have been invited to participate in each of the lectures. Online registration will open on January 16, 2013, so be sure to save the dates. We hope to see you there!


Ecopsychology: Reinventing the Human-Nature Relationship in the Digital Age

February 20, 2013, 7-9 pm, Kane Hall Room 130

Peter Kahn, Professor

Peter Kahn, Ph.D.Abundant recent research demonstrates our physical and psychological need for nature. And ecological sustainability—humanity living in mutually enhancing relationship with the rest of nature—may well be impossible unless people care for the places they live, together with the other species that inhabit these places. Yet here in the high-tech 21st Century, humans have become more alienated from nature than ever before. At this perilous moment in history, how can we broker a new human-nature relationship, one that embraces both technology and the natural world? In a provocative presentation, Peter Kahn and Scott Sampson will take up this pressing challenge, encompassed within the growing field of ecopsychology. They will outline a future where people optimize their wellbeing and flourish in relationship with nature, and explore the path that will take us there. 

For more information on Professor Kahn’s research, visit his website at:

Dr. Scott Sampson (Paleontologist and Science Communicator) will be joining Dr. Kahn for the February 20, 2013 lecture.


The New Science of Adolescence: Understanding Risky Behavior

February 27, 2013, 7-9pm, Kane Hall Room 130

Kevin King, Associate Professor 

Kevin King, Ph.D.Adolescence is a time of tremendous growth, change and maturation, but it is also the developmental period when a wide range of risky behaviors are most common, including alcohol and drug use, delinquency, risky sexual behavior, speeding, and smoking. Indeed, the leading causes of death and disability among adolescents are the end result of these kinds of risk behaviors. But typical approaches to prevention, which focus on increasing knowledge about the risks of these behaviors, have failed to produce reductions in adolescent risk taking. These lectures will discuss the latest brain and behavioral science of adolescence that explain why providing information, or asking adolescents to think more carefully and try harder generally does not succeed in changing behavior and what we can do to promote positive behaviors in adolescents.

For more information on Professor King’s research, visit his website at: 

Dr. Laurence Steinberg (Distinguished University Professor, Professor of Psychology, Temple University) will be joining Dr. King for the February 27, 2013 lecture.


Human Memory and the Law

March 6, 2013, 7-9pm, Kane Hall Room 130

Geoffrey Loftus, Professor

Geoffrey Loftus, Ph.D.In numerous legal cases, resolution of critical questions rests on an understanding of human cognition. For the past four decades, experimental psychologists have been testifying in court as expert witnesses who can educate juries about various aspects of how the human mind works. The goal of such testimony is that the jurors be able to use scientific information provided by the expert as a tool to assist them in their job of arriving at a verdict. We will illustrate the nature of such expert testimony by describing our own participation in homicide cases which, although all very different from one another, all critically involved various aspects of human perception, attention, and memory.


For more information on Professor Loftus’ research, visit his website at:

Dr. Beth Loftus (Distinguished Professor of Social Ecology, and Professor of Law, and Cognitive Science, University of California, Irvine) will be joining Dr. Geoff Loftus for the March 6, 2013 lecture.