Professor Richard Birke named honorary fellow in mediators group

Prof. Richard Birke, director of the law school’s Center for Dispute Resolution, was named an Honorary Fellow in the International Academy of Mediators (IAM), an organization that sets standards and defines qualifications for commercial mediators worldwide.

Birke, who is gaining international recognition for his research on the intersection of neuroscience and dispute resolution, was nominated by Susan M. Hammer JD’76, a Distinguished Fellow in the IAM. Hammer also is a Senior Fellow at the Center for Dispute Resolution.

“I nominated Richard because I really thought his work on neuroscience and negotiation would be great for our people to be exposed to,” she said. “His work on bringing what we know about neuroscience to mediation is cutting-edge. Very few people are thinking about it with the depth that he is.”

Birke has lectured in Moscow on the topic and has been invited to present his research in Europe. Last year he won an award from the New York-based CPR Institute for Dispute Resolution for an article he wrote called, “Neuroscience and Settlement: An Examination of Scientific Innovations and Practical Applications.” It was published in the Ohio State Journal on Dispute Resolution. The article explored the idea that neuroscience, with its ever-increasing ability to peer into the brain while it gathers information and makes decisions, creates opportunities to study why some disputes settle and others don’t.

Birke said he was thrilled to be name an IAM Honorary Fellow.

“It’s like a lifetime achievement award,” he said. “Through my participation in this organization, people will be using my ideas immediately. Putting new ideas into practice is as exciting as it gets.”