Carl L. Hart was surprised when a student in one of his classes at Columbia University wrote an essay for The Washington Post about the effect of having him speak frankly about his past and the importance of having non-white faculty members.
Hart took the opportunity to respond with his thoughts on race and higher education, in the midst of the national debate over police violence.
(Hart writes of cases such as the 2012 shooting death of 18-year-old Ramarley Graham, who had fled from police during a drug investigation in New York, and the 2014 death of another unarmed 18-year-old, Michael Brown, in Ferguson, Mo., which set off nationwide protests.)
Hart is the chair and Dirk Ziff professor of psychology at Columbia University. His book “High Price: A Neuroscientist’s Journey of Self-Discovery That Challenges Everything You Know About Drugs and Society” was given the 2014 PEN/E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award. He tweets at @drcarlhart.