The National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START) director and Professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice Gary LaFree will speak on “Black Swans and Burstiness: Countering Myths about Terrorism” as part of the University of Maryland’s Distinguished Scholar-Teacher Program. LaFree’s lecture will be held on Thursday, October 4 at 4 pm in the Prince George’s Room of Stamp Student Union.
The event is free and open to the public and a reception will follow; an RSVP should be made to email@example.com.
LaFree’s lecture will explore the contrasting black swan nature and burstiness of terrorism that challenges public policy makers. Black swan incidents are those high-impact events that defy expectation and prediction, such as the coordinated attacks against the United States on Sept. 11, 2001. LaFree will contrast black swan incidents with the bursty nature of many other terrorism incidents that produce no fatalities, rely on commonly used weapons and don’t involve much planning. Balancing these high-profile incidents with the seemingly everyday nature of terrorism creates challenges for today’s policymakers.
LaFree was named one of the University of Maryland’s Distinguished Scholar-Teachers for the 2012-2013 academic year. The Distinguished Scholar-Teacher award recognizes tenured faculty members who demonstrate excellence in teaching in their field as well as noteworthy scholarly accomplishments in their field. LaFree is one of three faculty members from the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice to receive the award since its creation.
LaFree serves as the director of the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START) and played an integral role in creating the Global Terrorism Database,the most extensive unclassified database of terrorism incidents in the world. LaFree also helped to create the Terrorism Studies Minor at the University of Maryland and has facilitated hundreds of internships for students at START.