Dr. Ronald Westrum: More on Information Flow

Prof. Emeritus Ron Westrum is continuing his studies into information flow by reading up on the life and crimes of Jimmy Savile, British entertainer, talk show host and serial sex offender. Ron got interested in Jimmy Savile when he discovered that for most of Savile's life, even those who knew him well did not suspect that he was a dangerous sex offender. Savile, who was friends with police officers, and close to the Royal Family, covered his tracks very well. After his death, people began to talk about Savile had done to them, and very much like Bill Cosby, the outpouring of victims' stories encouraged others to come forward. The British have done several major reports on Savile, the one from the BBC is over 1,000 pages.

Earlier Prof. Westrum had collected a large number of newspaper clippings about abuse of children by Catholic priests, and eventually will publish something out of that research. The most interesting conclusion is that the church, by choosing to "encapsulate" the information about abuse, deferred public scrutiny but also impaired its own ability to learn about and cope with the problem.

Prof. Westrum is writing a book on the flow of information, although publication is still in the future.

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