News and Commentary Archive

Explore recent scientific discoveries and news as well as CLBB events, commentary, and press.


The Center for Law, Brain & Behavior puts the most accurate and actionable neuroscience in the hands of judges, lawyers, policymakers and journalists—people who shape the standards and practices of our legal system and affect its impact on people’s lives. We work to make the legal system more effective and more just for all those affected by the law.

Anne-Marie Slaughter and Andrew Moravcsik on Work-Life Balance

CLBB Board Members Anne-Marie Slaughter and Andrew Moravcsik have recently come out with a pair of articles on work-like balance, published in The New York Times and The Atlantic, respectively. In his article,”Why I Put My Wife’s Career First“, Andrew Moravcsik discusses his and Anne-Marie’s initial approaches to child-rearing and his eventual decision to take the role of lead parent. He writes,

 “Most two-career families sooner or later find that one person falls into the role of lead parent. In our family, I assumed that role. To be sure, Anne-Marie was actively involved with our boys, taking responsibility for specific chunks of their lives, like dealing with teachers and planning college trips. She was—and is—emotionally close to both sons. And, as she described in her article three years ago, she broke off her government service to help our older son through his rocky transition into adolescence.

But none of this is lead parenting. Lead parenting is being on the front lines of everyday life. In my years as lead parent, I have gotten the kids out of the house in the morning; enforced bedtimes at night; monitored computer and TV use; attempted to ensure that homework got done right; encouraged involvement in sports and music; attended the baseball games, piano lessons, plays, and concerts that resulted; and kept tabs on social lives. To this day, I am listed first on emergency forms; I am the parent who drops everything in the event of a crisis.”

Anne-Marie Slaughter, in “A Toxic Work World“, criticizes rigid workplace cultures that promote overwork, leave little room for caregiving, and prove hostile to many employees, especially women. She notes,

“For many Americans, life has become all competition all the time. Workers across the socioeconomic spectrum, from hotel housekeepers to surgeons, have stories about toiling 12- to 16-hour days (often without overtime pay) and experiencing anxiety attacks and exhaustion. Public health experts have begun talking about stress as an epidemic.

The people who can compete and succeed in this culture are an ever-narrower slice of American society: largely young people who are healthy, and wealthy enough not to have to care for family members. An individual company can of course favor these individuals, as health insurers once did, and then pass them off to other businesses when they become parents or need to tend to their own parents. But this model of winning at all costs reinforces a distinctive American pathology of not making room for caregiving. The result: We hemorrhage talent and hollow out our society.”

Make sure to read “Why I Put My Wife’s Career First“, published in The Atlantic, and “A Toxic Work World“, published in The New York Times!

CLBB hosts first Brain Salon

Dissemination of scientific findings to the public at-large has always been a tricky endeavor. Generally, researchers, for good reason, tend to be overly cautious in reaching conclusions and applying their results to broad, societal issues. The public, however, seeks, and rightly so, to use any method possible to understand the world and eliminate injustices. And so the two, both seemingly operating with the right intentions, may disagree about what is to be done with novel research findings.  CLBB’s core mission of prudently translating scientific findings to the public speaks to the heart of this dilemma. One example of such work was a Brain Salon hosted by CLBB and Marshall Sonenshine and Dr. Therese Rosenblatt on October 30, 2013 in New York.

The event entitled, How Neuroscience is Changing Real World Understandings in the Law, Mental Health, Finance, and Public Policy, was chaired by CLBB’s Co-Director Judy Edersheim, J.D., M.D. The panelists were Jordan Smoller, M.D., Sc.D., Director of Psychiatric Genetics Program at Massachusetts General Hospital, Nancy Gertner, J.D., Former Federal Judge and Professor at Harvard Law School, Anne-Marie Slaughter, Ph.D., President and CEO of New America, and Jeffrey Toobin, J.D., author and legal analyst for CNN and the New Yorker. The speakers discussed application of scientific findings to their respective fields and social issues at large. The attendees, luminaries in their own right, in fields of finance, law, entertainment, academia, neuroscience, psychology, and medicine, debated about how to best manage translational of scientific research.

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Anne Marie Slaughter Becomes Next President of New America Foundation

Anne Marie SlaughterSource: The New America Foundation

Washington, DC — Today, Anne-Marie Slaughter became the new president and CEO of The New America Foundation.

Dr. Slaughter, a Princeton professor, former Dean of Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, and the former Director of Policy Planning at the U.S. State Department, succeeds Steve Coll, who stepped down on March 31 after five years leading the nonpartisan public policy think tank. Dr. Slaughter, [who also serves on the CLBB Advisory Board], will work out of both New America’s Washington, DC and New York offices.

“Anne-Marie Slaughter is a creative, inspiring thinker who has played a critical role in the institution’s success as a board member, and we are thrilled for her to lead New America in what promises to be an exceptional period for both the institution and society,” said David Bradley, chairman of the Board’s search committee. “Steve Coll firmly established New America as an innovative policy institute that’s tackling today’s greatest challenges, and she is the right person to build on that foundation.”
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