#1258 The art and science of apologies and forgiveness

Air Date: 3–22-2019
Today we take a look at apologies and forgiveness, some of the building blocks for a healthy human society, at a moment in time when society is reorganizing itself in several ways at once, making it all the more necessary that we refresh ourselves on the fundamentals of how best to relate to each other

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Ch. 1: Powerful men apologizing through the ages - Backstory - Air Date 11-30-17

In this week’s roundtable conversation, Ed, Joanne, Nathan and Brian focus on stories in the news, including famous men apologizing (or not) for bad behavior.

Ch. 2: How to Optimize Your Apology - Freakonomics Radio - Air Date 10-9-18

You said, “I’m sorry,” but somehow you haven’t been forgiven. Why? Because you’re doing it wrong! A report from the front lines of apology science.

Ch. 3: A Police Chief Apologizes for a 1940 Lynching - Criminal (In)Justice - Air Date 12-18-17

A chief of police has to lead officers toward a strong relationship with the communities they serve, but in the past, the same department may have participated in or enforced racial discrimination and injustice. That history can prevent healing and can make police reform a nonstarter.

Ch. 4: Forgiveness - TED Radio Hour - Air Date 5-11-17

When loss, violence or betrayal test our willingness to forgive — how do we do it anyway? This hour, TED speakers explore the challenges and benefits of forgiving others and ourselves.

Ch. 5: The science of forgiveness - Science of Happiness - Air Date 6-20-18

One of the really key theoretical discoveries about forgiveness and it tells us that we have an instinct to forgive really comes out of the groundbreaking work of Frans de Waal who’s a primatologist. He studies the bonobos and the chimpanzees and other primates.

Ch. 6: The Paradox of Forgiveness - Hidden Brain - Air Date 1-25-16

Oeindrila Dube, an assistant professor of political science and economics at New York University, finds that traditional forgiveness ceremonies after brutal atrocities can achieve the kind of reconciliation between neighbors that many of us might consider impossible. The ceremonies don't just affect the individuals involved. They have a big impact on community ties and cohesion - what researchers would call social capital.

Ch. 7: Forgiveness in the #MeToo era - Interfaith Voices - Air Date 6-24-18

Many faith traditions emphasize the importance of forgiveness. But in the context of the #MeToo movement, can forgiveness silence women who have been abused?


Ch. 8: Final comments on strength, power, fragility, apoloiges, forgiveness and the legacy of the Confederacy


Making an Effective Apology (Greater Good in Action, 2017)

Nine Steps to Forgiveness (Greater Good in Action, 2018)

How to Turn Your Brain from Anger to Compassion (Greater Good, 2013)

The Forgiveness Instinct (Greater Good, 2008)

Curated by BOTL Communications Director Amanda Hoffman 

MUSIC (Blue Dot Sessions):

  • Opening Theme: Loving Acoustic Instrumental by John Douglas Orr 
  • Lord Weasel - Molerider
  • Donder - Darby
  • Cat's Eye - Marble Run
  • Waterbourne - Algea Fields
  • Flattered - Delray
  • Cicle Veroni - Cicle Kadde
  • Voicemail Music: Low Key Lost Feeling Electro by Alex Stinnent
  • Closing Music: Upbeat Laid Back Indie Rock by Alex Stinnent


Produced by Jay! Tomlinson

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