Marquette University News Release

Mental health law expert Morse to examine legal ramifications of neuroscience advancements in Marquette Law School’s Barrock Lecture

November 3, 2014

Event Information:
Date: Thursday, Nov. 6, 2014
Time: 4:30 p.m.
Place: Eckstein Hall, 1215 W. Michigan St.

MILWAUKEE – Stephen J. Morse, an expert in criminal and mental health law at the University of Pennsylvania, will present “The Perils and Promise of Law and Neuroscience” for this year’s George and Margaret Barrock Lecture on Criminal Law at Marquette University Law School on Thursday, Nov. 6, at 4:30 p.m.

Morse holds academic appointments in both law and psychiatry and is the associate director of the Penn Center for Neuroscience and Society. His widely published work emphasizes individual responsibility and the relation of the behavioral sciences and neurosciences to responsibility and social control.

His lecture will take up suggestions from some scientists and legal scholars that advancements in neuroscience, fueled by noninvasive brain imaging, will have a revolutionary effect on legal doctrine and case adjudication.

Morse will address why the new neuroscience is unlikely to have such a revolutionary effect. His lecture will conclude with a description of neuroscience advances that are currently promising and legally relevant.

Morse is the Ferdinand Wakeman Hubbell Professor at Penn Law School and a professor of psychology and law in psychiatry at Penn’s School of Medicine. He is a board-certified forensic psychologist whose professional recognitions include the American Psychiatric Association’s Isaac Ray Award, received earlier this year for distinguished contributions to forensic psychiatry and the psychiatric aspects of jurisprudence.

Professor Morse has served as co-director of the MacArthur Foundation law and neuroscience project and the project’s research group on criminal responsibility and prediction, a founding director of the Neuroethics Society and a trustee of the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law in Washington, D.C. He received his law degree and Ph.D. in psychology and social relations from Harvard University.

The Barrock Lecture is supported by a bequest of the late Mary Barrock Bonfield to honor her parents. Her father, George, was a 1931 graduate of Marquette University Law School.

The event is currently at capacity; video of the lecture will be available online or in an overflow room at the Law School. Media interested in attending should contact Chris Jenkins in the Office of Marketing and Communication at (414) 288-4745 or

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About Chris Jenkins

Chris Jenkins

Chris is the Associate Director of University Communication in the Office of Marketing and Communication. Contact Chris at (414) 288-4745 or View all posts by .