Legal and human welfare scholar to deliver 104th Sibley Lecture

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Writer: Drew Bloodworth, 706/542-5172, lawprstu@uga.edu
Contact: Paul M. Kurtz, 706/542-7140, pmkurtz@uga.edu

Athens, Ga. - Stanford Law School Vice Dean and Gaither Professor Mark G. Kelman will deliver the University of Georgia School of Law's 104th Sibley Lecture. His talk titled "Saving Lives, Saving from Death, Saving from Dying" will address the issue of how it is appropriate to understand the "valuation" of statistical deaths, compared to the deaths of known individuals.

According to Kelman, "The mainstream position is that we collectively undervalue/spend too little to prevent the deaths of as-yet unknown persons, compared to what we spend to save identifiable persons in jeopardy, and that this 'mis-valuation' [arises] from a set of familiar cognitive errors and biases." On March 25 at 3:30 p.m. in the law school's Hatton Lovejoy Courtroom, he will explore both the virtues and limits of the conventional account.

With areas of interest ranging from law and economics to cognitive psychology, Kelman has applied social science approaches to diverse legal fields including criminal law, taxation, administrative regulation and disability law. Kelman is also an expert on antidiscrimination law, criminal law and criminal justice, distributive justice, employment discrimination, property, and race and the law. His current research focuses on whether the concept of human welfare, which is used to evaluate the success of policy or the justice of distribution of goods and opportunities, can or should be refined.

In addition to being a long-time teacher of both criminal law and property law, Kelman has served as the academic coordinator, as the academic associate dean and, currently, as the vice dean of Stanford Law School. Before joining the faculty at Stanford in 1977, he was the director of criminal justice projects for the Fund for the City of New York . Kelman earned his Bachelor of Arts and his Juris Doctor from Harvard University .

Established in 1964 by the Charles Loridans Foundation of Atlanta, the Sibley Lecture Series honors the late John A. Sibley, a 1911 graduate of Georgia Law, and hosts renowned legal academics known throughout the country for their exceptional scholarship.

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