April 23, 2012

Blogger wins scientific achievement award

Accepting the award. Photo credit: Michael Donner
I am pleased to report that I have been awarded the 2012 Distinguished Scientific Contribution in Psychology award. It struck like a thunderbolt in a clear blue sky; I had no idea I had even been nominated for an award until I got a phone call notifying me I had won. 

It was especially meaningful to come from the California Psychology Association. The only voice for California’s 18,000 licensed psychologists, the CPA tirelessly advocates for the profession as well as for the mental health needs of the general public in California.

For those of you who only know me as a blogger and/or a forensic psychology practitioner, I conducted pioneering research in the late 1990s into the motivations of hate crime perpetrators. I later extended that work to group rape, likening both forms of violence to cultural theater in which the actors publicly demonstrate masculinity, with their victims as dramatic props. (I'm excited about a forthcoming chapter in a cutting-edge text on multiple-perpetrator rape, due out next year.) I have also conducted historical research and published on the ethics of forensic diagnosis, and especially the contested sexual paraphilia of "hebephilia." More information on my research is available on my website and on Wikipedia.

The location of the awards ceremony could not have been more idyllic -- the gorgeous Monterey coast on a balmy weekend. The 270-degree view of the Monterey Bay and the surrounding hills from the 10th floor of the Marriott Hotel was breathtaking; unfortunately, a photo just can't capture it.

CPA President Craig Lareau presents award.
Photo credit: Patricia VanWoerkom
The quality of this year's convention trainings was impressive. Perhaps because the current president, Craig Lareau, is a forensic psychologist and attorney, there was a good deal of forensic programming. Alan Goldstein presented the latest on Miranda waiver evaluations (including the new instrument), Professor Gail Goodman gave an overview of the research on child witness accuracy, and there were workshops on forensic neuropsychology.

I especially enjoyed a presentation by Keely Kolmes of San Francisco and Heather Wittenberg of Maui designed to help psychologists step up their online presence. For anyone interested, Dr. Kolmes has some nice resources (HERE) for psychologists on the ethics of social media and on managing one's online reputation.

By the way, if you practice in California and don't belong to the CPA, I encourage you to join. The reconfigured CPA has a forward-looking leadership team headed by the dynamic Jo Linder-Crow and is doing essential advocacy work on behalf of psychologists and the public. It appears to have defeated (at least for the time being) an effort to axe our regulatory agency, the Board of Psychology, which would have left psychologists at the mercy of other professions. It's working hard to promote parity for mental health consumers. And it's tangibly supporting legislators who will lobby for progressive causes, for example prisoner rehabilitation instead of endless warehousing. So do your share, whether it's just paying dues or volunteering, so that all of the heavy lifting does not fall on just a few shoulders.

Sea Otter, Monterey Bay
Whether or not you belong to the CPA, if you are in California you might also consider donating to its Political Action Committee, which funds progressive politicians and reforms. The unfortunate reality is, politics is money-driven.

And now, sadly, it's back to the grindstone.

Related news: Your blogger profiled in the 2012 edition of advanced high school textbook, Forensic Science: Advanced Investigations.


Anonymous said...

Congratulations, Karen!

zach phillips said...

congratulations -- you deserve it!

researcherone said...


I am not at all surprised (why are you?). You are passionate and driven in your field, and your hard work should be acknowledged. Now, gladly, it is.

*Researcherone bows humbly before royalty*

Karen Franklin, Ph.D. said...

Thanks very much, and also thanks to the colleagues who congratulated me back channel. I appreciate all of your support.

Cavall de Quer said...

Oh, well done! And thanks for all the excellent columns.....a well-merited award!

Valigator said...

Your known as the "go to" woman for deviant sex offenders who think your word on "forgive and forget" on sexually based crimes is the Holy Grail of all things sex offender. Ms. Franklin, dont take this personally, but I havent run across a "voodoo doctor" yet who didnt evaluate an offender and think they cant CURE them after twenty minutes of intense gazing at ink spots. The public doesnt trust evaluators as yourself, and we have plenty of victims to validate that distrust.

Allen jeley said...