Wisdom in the News

Turmoil, Unrest, & Wise Decision-Making

'The Science of Wisdom' film released for public viewing

Six years ago, the United States was wracked with turmoil as police brutality and inequality against black Americans was at the forefront of the news and social media. The country was moved to protest on injustice in Ferguson, Missouri to Staten Island, New York.

Amid this strife the JJ Effect produced a film, with support from the Wisdom Research project, addressing practical wisdom in a time of unrest and upheaval. The film highlights the Chicago Wisdom Project and Baltimore based Holistic Life Foundation as paths for navigating life as youth, particularly from disadvantaged neighborhoods. Based on wisdom research concepts, interviews with foremost wisdom researchers include Center Director Howard C. Nusbaum, Robert Sternberg, and Monika Ardelt, and leading contemplative practice researchers john a powell, Richard J. Davidson, and Amishi Jha.

In light of current protests, rioting, and city wide curfews across the country, the JJ Effect has temporarily released the full movie for viewing to the public. Lecturer in the Film, Video, New Media and Animation department at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and team member on the Fostering Wisdom through Civic Engagement project at the Center for Practical Wisdom, Jason Boulware stated "there are worthwhile dialogues in the film about social responsibility, anger, and frustration. Watching those conversations unfold in the middle of this pandemic while forces tear at the social fabric in which we live, is a good reminder that you are not alone. There is hope for positive community engagement and wise decision-making."

The JJ Effect plans to have the film available for viewing on Youtube for the coming month and can be watched on the JJ Effect YouTube channel.

Film synopsis: ‘The Science of Wisdom’ explores the academic study of wisdom and current concepts in education that may lead to promoting wisdom in marginalized groups. The film addresses the importance of wisdom in everyday life specifically in light of neo-progressive movements in the United States. 2014 was overwrought with examples in the media of injustice and disparity. The film opens with examples in the media from across the United States of the distress we, as Americans have witnessed and struggled through from Eric Garner in Staten Island to Mike Brown in Ferguson Missouri. An outpouring of Americans banded together in protest to express their outrage with long standing issues in society. Framed against this unrest, ‘The Science of Wisdom’ explores the need for a cultural shift, the academic study of wisdom, and current concepts in education that may lead to being able to better navigate the struggles of daily life. Highlighted in the movie are interviews with leading scholars and focuses on current programs aiming to intercede with youth to address issues paralleled in differing ways, one in Chicago at the Chicago Wisdom Project, the other in the city of Baltimore through the Holistic Life Foundation. Both programs target youth in varying ways in hopes of developing resiliency strategies to navigate through current struggles of growing up black in America. ‘The Science of Wisdom’ continually returns to the science and the academic aspect of wisdom, basing the information on the scholar interviews and focusing dissemination of their research.