Jo Kenrick

Wednesday, February 5 2020 at 7:30PM

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60 Old Woolwich Road, Greenwich, London SE10 9NY

Jo Kenrick

What's the talk about?

What if there was a dirty bomb hidden somewhere in the UK and you had a few short hours to get a suspect to tell you where it was and how to disable it, what lengths would you go to?

Revelations in the media about the UK government’s role in cooperating with the CIA's rendition and torture programme have re-opened the debate on what is and is not acceptable when innocent lives are at stake. The President of the United States has declared that torture ‘absolutely works’ but the CIA’s own reports state that torture techniques “do not produce intelligence” and “will probably result in false answers”. This talk reviews both the science and expert testimony from intelligence operatives to reveal what techniques do and don’t work in eliciting information in high-pressure situations and explains why what we think will work is actually utterly ineffective.

Jo is a PhD researcher in the Forensic Psychology Unit at Goldsmiths and a Lecturer at Birkbeck College, University of London. As a forensically applied cognitive psychologist, she is particularly interested in increasing awareness and understanding of the science behind evidence-based, non-coercive techniques in eliciting information.

She holds an M.Sc. from the London School of Economics, a B.Sc. (Psychology) from Birkbeck College and a B.A. from Victoria University of Wellington (New Zealand). Her PhD research is concentrated on the abilities of highly skilled liars, though her recent focus in teaching and public engagement has been why torture and coercive methods do not work, and what ethical, science-based alternatives are available. To this end she has contributed research reviews to the High-Value Detainee Interrogation Group (HIG) ‘What Works’ programme to improve the training and practice of interrogations by law enforcement. She was a House of Lords Roundtable discussant on "The development of guidelines on investigative interviewing and associated safeguards" chaired by Baroness Kennedy of The Shaws, QC.

In an attempt to get away from being known as 'the torture lady' Jo has also made television appearances as a deception expert for the programme 'Comedians Giving Lectures' on the Dave comedy channel and used her dubious fiction-writing skills to help create the award-winning immersive science-theatre event 'Top of the Cops: Murder on the Dancefloor' at Goldsmiths. Twitter @Kenrickforensic