I am grateful to be here as a Lady Davis Visiting Professor on my fourth trip to Israel. I feel very much at home because of the warmth and hospitality of my colleagues and friends. Moreover, the University of Pennsylvania has an Israel-Penn exchange programme which we hope to expand, and I know that the new dean of our law school, Dean Freedman, will have more conversations with Dean Klein. Thank you for having me and for affording me new opportunities to augment my experiences in Israel.
I hope to help promote the role of criminology here at Hebrew University, especially the relationship between research in behavioural science and the law as well as social policy. I have just returned from a one-week trip to the States under the auspices of the National Academy of Sciences to discuss a new report of a Panel on Rehabilitation, which represents some of this admixture of science, ethics and law to which I refer.
I wish to share with you some thoughts about Western society's changing penal philosophy, with particular emphasis on the shift from rehabilitation to retribution. Some of what I discuss is rooted in empirical science; some is my personal perspective. There should be little difficulty discerning the differences. For many years of my professional life I adhered to William Graham Summer's dictum—Yale University's early 20th century sociologist—that the purpose of sociology is to describe, not prescribe.