Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Science of Evil by Simon Baron-Cohen

Simon Baron-Cohen is a top autism researcher, and the author of numerous publications and several books. I find that his ease with explaining complex topics makes him especially easy to understand. (And, his publications are available on his webpage, which means those of us not connected to universities have access to his information. Thank you!)
Dr. Baron-Cohen’s famous book,The Essential Difference: Male And Female Brains And The Truth About Autism discusses the differences between male and female brains and the idea that autism is an extreme male brain. In his new book, The Science of Evil: On Empathy and the Origins of Cruelty Baron Cohen discusses his theory that evil results from a lack of empathy. I haven’t read the book yet, however I listen to a fascinating interview with Dr. Baron-Cohen on NPR’s Science Friday, entitled, "Could a Lack of Empathy Explain Cruelty?"  Baron Cohen discussed how a lack of empathy could lead to evil acts in some individuals as well as a withdrawal from socializing in other individuals, such as those with autism. The book is well reviewed and the interview is available on NPR.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Success on the Spectrum Conference

Aascend, the Autism, Asperger's Syndrome Network Coalition for Education, Networking and Development, is sponsoring their Success on the Spectrum Conference in San Francisco on October 15, 2011. This event is aimed at adults on the autism spectrum, and will feature discussions about relationships, employment options and transitioning issues.

The keynote speaker is Ari Ne'eman, president and co-founder of ASAN, the Autistic Self Advocacy Network, as well as a member of President Obama's Council on Disability. There will also be a preview of the film Too Sane For This World, featuring adults on the spectrum. For information on the conference, please visit the Aascend website.