What is it about?

Translational science is a powerful alternative to traditional research perspectives. It aims to contribute to the efforts to balance the rigor of scientific endeavors and their pertinence to the contexts and populations under study. This paper shares the behind-the-scenes step-by-step process in collaboration between a team of scientists, filmmakers, and protagonists of the current peace process in Colombia. The partnership successfully reduced dehumanization, increased positive views toward former guerilla combatants, and support for peace after six decades of war.

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Why is it important?

Changing hearts and minds after decades of violent conflict is one of the greatest challenges societies face in order to turn the page and move towards a shared future free of the negative legacies of war. We show how an effective intervention that adopted a translational science perspective provides a balance between the preciseness and rigor of science and the engaging, entertaining, and memorable power of practice and involvement of the communities under study. We learn that the successful formula relies on engaging with the communities involved to learn about the issues they face; partnering with practitioners, to do research that will affect change in those communities; and translating findings through different forms of engagement.


This research is dedicated to the memory of Emile Bruneau, who strived to develop the field of peace science. This memoir recalls how Emile’s work in Colombia contributed to updating and feeding the changing field of peace and security. Furthermore, how his research philosophy helped advance the way we think about the critical domains of peace and security today, such as intergroup conflict, diplomacy, women’s peace, climate security, and peacemaking/building, not only to surpass war but also to help today’s politically polarized societies which abandon their accelerated path to violent dissent and conflict.

Pontificia Universidad Javeriana

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Giving peace a chance: Lessons from translational research in Colombia., Peace and Conflict Journal of Peace Psychology, May 2022, American Psychological Association (APA),
DOI: 10.1037/pac0000613.
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