Social psychologist, Jonathan Haidt, will help us better understand the impact of raising a generation to believe that the world is a dangerous place from which many protections should be given. What happens when free speech meets microaggressions and trigger warnings on college campuses? Can campus life foster critical thinking while also protecting communities from offensive and/or hate speech? Are we helping build mental wellness and democratic principles by shielding people from viewpoints that may cause harm or eroding the underpinnings of democracy when doing so? Moderated by Meryl Chertoff, Executive Director, Justice & Society Program, The Aspen Institute.
Jonathan Haidt is a social psychologist at New York University’s Stern School of Business. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1992, and taught for 16 years in the department of psychology at the University of Virginia. Haidt’s research examines the intuitive foundations of morality, and how morality varies across cultures––including the cultures of progressive, conservatives, and libertarians. His goal is to help people understand each other, live and work near each other, and even learn from each other despite their moral differences. Haidt has co-founded a variety of organizations and collaborations that apply moral and social psychology toward that end. Haidt is the author of The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom, and of The New York Times bestsellers The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion, and The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas are Setting Up a Generation for Failure (co-authored with Greg Lukianoff). His next book is tentatively titled Three Stories about Capitalism: The Moral Psychology of Economic Life. He has given four TED talks.
Meryl Justin Chertoff is Executive Director of The Aspen Institute’s Justice and Society Program. She directs its summer seminar in Aspen, its speaker series in New York, Washington and Aspen, and the Inclusive America Project on religious pluralism in America. She is also an adjunct professor of law at Georgetown Law, where she teaches about state government, intergovernmental affairs, and state courts. Chertoff is a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation and serves on the advisory committee of the After Charlottesville Project: Communities Overcoming Extremism. She is an opinion contributor for The Hill and writes for the Aspen Idea.
From 2006-2009, Ms. Chertoff was Director of the Sandra Day O’Connor Project on the State of the Judiciary at Georgetown Law, studying and educating the public about federal and state courts. At Georgetown Law, she developed educational programs for visiting judges and other government officials from overseas.
She served in the Office of Legislative Affairs at the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), participating in the agency’s transition into the Department of Homeland Security in 2003. Ms. Chertoff has been a legislative relations professional, Director of New Jersey’s Washington, D.C. Office under two governors, and legislative counsel to the Chair of the New Jersey State Assembly Appropriations Committee.