Dr. David F. Duncan has been a pioneer in the conceptual crossfertilisation
of behavioural psychology, social epidemiology, and lifespan development. The originality and power of his contributions has
been such that he has been called "the Stephen Hawking of public health."
Participants in our Centre's activities are particularly interested in Prof.
Duncan's self-medication hypothesis, which proposes that psychological dependence is just another name for negative reinforcement
when it results from the addict's use of drugs to medicate preexisting distress, We also are interested in his nonjudgmental
approach to the prevention and treatment of drug dependence, which has come to be known as harm reduction or harm minimisation.
The Centre for Duncanian Studies brings together a group of researchers with
a common interest in applying a Duncanian approach to the study and control of public health problems of drug dependence,
violence, and mental illness.
Dr. Duncan is President of Duncan & Associates, a behavioural and policy
studies consultancy firm. He is also a Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine at Brown University and was formerly a Professor
of Health Education at the Southern Illinois University. He was a consultant to the Clinton White House Office of National
Drug Control Policy. He chairs the Council on Illicit Drugs and is Program Chair of the National Association for Public Health
Policy in the United States.