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.