Bruce Shapiro Receives 2014 ISTSS Public Advocacy Award

Bruce Shapiro, executive director of the Dart Center, has been recognized with the 2014 Public Advocacy Award from the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (ISTSS) for his “outstanding and fundamental contributions to the social understanding of trauma.” Shapiro is the first journalist to be recognized with the Public Advocacy Award.

Founded in 1985, the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (ISTSS) is the leading scientific association of clinicians, researchers and others dedicated to the discovery and dissemination of knowledge about psychological trauma, as well as policy, program and service initiatives that seek to reduce traumatic stressors and their immediate and long-term consequences.

Conferred annually since 2002, past winners of the award include U.S. Senator Barbara Mikulski of Maryland, U.S. Senator Tom Harkin of Iowa, and pioneering psychiatrist and MacArthur Fellow Jonathan Shay, M.D., among others. 

Shapiro has led the Dart Center since 2006. “Through his leadership of the Dart Center, Bruce Shapiro has been a major advocate for increasing public awareness of trauma and its consequences. Because of his influence, media reporting has shifted from sensationalism regarding the gory details of traumatic events to thoughtful and sensitive reports on resilience, recovery and the effectiveness of treatment,” said Matthew J. Friedman, a professor of psychiatry at Dartmouth’s Geisel School of Medicine and director emeritus of the National Center for PTSD.

Shapiro, who teaches news ethics at the Journalism School and directs the school’s Professional Programs Division as well as the Dart Center, is also a contributing editor at The Nation magazine and the author of books on investigative journalism and capital punishment. 

“The journalists working with the Dart Center share a critical mission,” said Shapiro upon accepting the award at the annual ISTSS conference in Miami on Thursday. “News professionals want to ensure the public understands the impact of violence and tragedy on individuals, families and communities, whether that is family violence or war or disaster. I am deeply grateful to the pioneering trauma scientists of ISTSS, who have taught us that when the shooting stops, when the earthquake quiets, that is when the news really begins.

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