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 Implicit Bias Awards & June 14 Policy Conference
Posted by: Justin Levinson
Title/Position: Associate Professor of Law
School/Organization: University of Hawaii
Sent to listserv of: SPSP, SESP, SPSSI
Date posted: March 27th, 2012

The Charles Hamilton Houston Institute at Harvard Law School ( is pleased to announce the creation of three (3) Emerging Implicit Bias Scholar Awards. The awards, which are being given in connection with the Institute’s June 14 conference titled Implicit Bias Across the Law, will recognize the achievements of PhD students or postdoctoral researchers in social psychology (or a related discipline) who are conducting research shedding light on legal, policy and practical implications of emerging scholarship on implicit bias. Selected awardees will be given free travel to the conference, scheduled to take place at Harvard Law School in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and one night’s lodging at a nearby hotel. They will be recognized at the conference, and participate in a post-conference meeting on June 15th.

To Apply: Please submit a CV and single-spaced (not to exceed 2 pages) letter explaining your work and interest in implicit bias and policy/law. You may also send electronic copies of your published or forthcoming work. Please email your application to Johanna Wald ( and to Justin Levinson ( by April 6, 2012. If you have questions before you apply, please email Justin Levinson (

About the Conference: Despite cultural progress in reducing overt acts of racism, stark racial disparities continue to define American life. This conference will explore how emerging scientific and social science research on the human brain can help to explain why racial equality remains so elusive. This new evidence reveals how human mental machinery can be skewed by lurking stereotypes, often bending to accommodate hidden biases reinforced by years of social learning. Through the lens of these powerful and pervasive implicit racial attitudes and stereotypes, the conference, designed to coincide with the launch of the book Implicit Racial Bias Across the Law, examines both the continued subordination of historically disadvantaged groups and the legal system's complicity in the subordination.

The conference will begin with a compelling overview of the social science. What does the research teach us about automatic biases? What knowledge gaps remain? Experts in criminal justice, housing, education, and health care will discuss how implicit bias affects law, policy, practice and decision-making in their fields. Federal judges’ will offer perspectives on implicit bias claims in the courtroom. In the afternoon, attendees will break into sessions and roundtable discussions on specific sub-topics. In the final session, the entire group will reconvene to set an agenda for continued research, policy, practice, and assessments of the role and impact of implicit bias across all areas of the law and our lives.

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