Today's Most Creative People: The Sandy Hook Parents Using Biology To Predict And Prevent Violence

After losing their daughter in the Sandy Hook shootings, Jeremy Richman and Jennifer Hensel are looking to science to help prevent these kinds of disasters in the future.

While the fight over gun control following last year's Sandy Hook shootings fades into the background, a pair of Sandy Hook parents are taking another route to preventing gun violence.

Jeremy Richman and his wife, Jennifer Hensel, who lost their daughter Avielle in the December shooting, are trying to find biological indicators that predispose people to violence. The two scientists want to look at biomarkers, or biological characteristics like specific cells or genes, that could indicate a predisposition to violent behavior. They're working to raise awareness along with funding for the research.

While their mission is controversial, and could very well be frivolous, Richman and Hensel do raise the question: Can we use biology to predict, and then prevent, violent behavior? A separate theory says that violence is contagious, and can therefore be predicted in certain areas, but this is different.

Every year, Fast Company names its 100 Most Creative People, highlighting the global leaders in tech, design, media, music, movies, marketing, television, sports, and more. Richman and Hensel, and other thought-leaders, will be considered for 2014's list.

[Image: Flickr user Richard Elzey]

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1 Comments

  • Miranda

    Frivolous? I'm glad you recognized the Richmans, but that adjective is more apt to describe the way you employed its use. Nothing about The Avielle Foundation's mission is frivolous whatsoever.