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Undisciplined: Innocent Bystanders?

Photo provided by Amos Guiora
A friend of Guiora places Guiora's book, "The Crime of Complicity: The Bystander in the Holocaust," at Auschwitz.

What is your responsibility when you see injustice being done? For Amos Guiora, this is a deeply personal question stemming from his family’s experiences in one of the greatest atrocities in human history. And now he’s sharing that story.  

As he unpacked this question — the question of the bystander’s role in stopping injustices — he came to a conclusion. Morals and ethics aren’t enough. He thinks there needs to be legal frameworks spelling out our responsibilities to others. When we see something we must do something — or suffer the legal consequences.  

This central idea has taken Guiora down the path of examining the role of the bystander in many aspects of society, including, most recently, the abuse of student athletes. 

Amos Guiora is a professor of law at the SJ Quinney College of Law and the author of several books pertinent to these questions, including "The Crime of Complicity," which was published in 2017, and "Armies of Enablers" in 2020.


Matthew LaPlante has reported on ritual infanticide in Northern Africa, insurgent warfare in the Middle East, the legacy of genocide in Southeast Asia, and gang violence in Central America. But a few years back, something donned on him: Maybe the news doesn't have to be brutally depressing all the time. Today, he balances his continuing work on more heartbreaking subjects by writing books about the intersection of science, human health and society, including Inheritance with geneticist Sharon Moalem and the Nautilus Award-winning Longevity Plan with cardiologist John Day. His forthcoming book, Superlative, will look at what scientists are learning by studying organisms that have evolved in record-setting ways.