Professor Harry Prosen, M.D., M.Sc
Harry Prosen is a professor of psychiatry who has worked in the field for over 50 years, including chairing two departments of psychiatry and serving as president of the Canadian Psychiatric Association. Professor Prosen was recently appointed one of 500 Specially Selected Fellows of the American College of Psychiatrists, and a Distinguished Life Member of the American Psychiatric Association. He is also psychiatric consultant to the Bonobo Species Preservation Society. (To listen to a brief 2012 radio interview of Professor Prosen talking about his amazing psychiatric work with bonobos, see the link under Professor Prosen’s photo on his .)
In 2004 the WTM began an undertaking to make a . The detailed proposal Jeremy Griffith wrote for the documentary from over 100 of the world’s leading scientists and thinkers. Professor Prosen was one of those scientists who responded enthusiastically to the documentary proposal when it was sent to him in 2004, and he has since visited the WTM in Australia.
In 2009 Professor Prosen gave the following commendation on the importance of these understandings (via Skype), which can be viewed in Part 2 of the in the WTM Video Library: ‘Thank you Tim, it’s nice to be with you all in Australia. I have been a student of psychiatry for many years. What I have to tell you is that I have no doubt this biological explanation of Jeremy Griffith’s of the human condition is the holy grail of insight we have sought for the psychological rehabilitation of the human race. I cannot urge you strongly enough to listen to what Jeremy Griffith has to explain. My message is as simple as that. This is all so exciting; I’m quite overwhelmed to be here on Earth when these answers are finally found. Thank you for the opportunity to speak with you.’
Professor Prosen’s participation as a scientific
expert in the defence of the scientific and scholarly
standard of Jeremy Griffith’s work
In March 2007, a began in the Supreme Court of New South Wales to determine defences and damages following a jury’s 2003 finding that the Australian Broadcasting Corporation had defamed Jeremy Griffith and Tim Macartney-Snape in a 1995 Four Corners television program. During the trial, four , including Professor Prosen, took the stand in defence of the scientific and scholarly standard of Jeremy Griffith’s work.
From the report by Professor Prosen tendered at the trial:
‘Mr. Griffith’s work is important and significant to my field of psychiatry. I also consider that it is of significance to all of science. In my view, it explains the nature of “The Human Condition”.
The first two books I read, “Free” and “Beyond”, are amazing platforms which describe the basic findings made and explanations put forward, by Mr Griffith. Mr Griffith’s subsequent writings do not change in basic concept but we see increasing elaboration, background and opportunity scientifically to understand the Human Condition and ameliorate it.
These writings in many ways further basic evolutionary concepts and thus are seen by some as controversial, but the majority of scientists, anthropologists and sociologists whom I know to have considered these works have become very excited and perhaps had their own thinking take a leap forward as they have read and re-read Mr Griffith’s work. Even the nay-sayers, in my view, have not been able to put forward evidence which refutes Mr Griffith’s ideas in a scientific way. The persons who have taken negative views of Mr. Griffith’s notions are not to be belittled, but in no criticism that I have seen is there a truly scientific rebuttal. In my opinion, the scientific validity of Mr Griffith’s work is supported in every way possible, from archaeology, primatology, genetics and evolutionary facts.
All of the above has convinced me of the scientific accuracy and significance of this work. My own applications of it are as a psychotherapist of some 40 years standing, in clinical work and writing and also as I see the early stages of consciousness in my work with primates.’ Professor Prosen concluded that ‘In my opinion, Mr Griffith’s work, including Beyond, is of the highest scientific merit.’
Professor Prosen’s Extended Profile:
Emeritus Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioural Medicine, Medical College of Wisconsin.
Professor Prosen is a professor of psychiatry who has worked in the field for over 50 years, including chairing two departments of psychiatry and serving as president of the Canadian Psychiatric Association. He was recently made a member of a select group of 500 Distinguished Life Fellows of the American Psychiatric Association. He is also psychiatric consultant to the Bonobo Species Preservation Society, and is assisting those working with one of the largest collections of captive bonobo primates in the world at the Milwaukee County Zoo.
He has obtained specialist standing in psychiatry in three countries—Canada, the United States and England. Around the time of his presidency of the Canadian Psychiatric Association, Professor Prosen also chaired, for six years, the Specialty Committee in Psychiatry of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.
As former Head of the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Manitoba and Chairman of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Medicine at the Medical College of Wisconsin until late 2003, Professor Prosen has been responsible for continuing in a major way the development of two departments of psychiatry and, for this work, was listed in the 2005–2006 America’s Registry of Outstanding Professionals.
He has been continuously involved in the teaching of psychiatry and in clinical work with patients, with special emphasis on inter-generational issues in families, particularly on empathy and empathic deficits. Much of this work originated in studying variations of the life-stages of humans, then developing an inter-generational approach to psychiatric treatment. Some of his early publications focused on non-verbal communication and also variations in facial features under different emotional circumstances.
Professor Prosen’s interest in empathy prepared him for his work with primates, in particular bonobos who are thought to be the most empathic of all primates. It has allowed him to participate in the work of a group of primate experts studying bonobo culture and development and has seen him receive numerous consultations from the United States and other parts of the world on psychological and other problems in primates (especially bonobos) and other species. Recently, the rehabilitation of a very disturbed young bonobo, named Brian, by Professor Prosen and his colleagues generated substantial publicity, including a story in The Atlantic.
He has written over 70 books, monographs and articles, reviewed over 30 books and delivered over 60 presentations at various conferences. He is currently a peer-reviewer for the American Journal of Psychotherapy.
Professor Prosen obtained his M.D. in 1955, his M.Sc. in 1957, and his Diploma in Psychiatry in 1959—all from Canada’s University of Manitoba.