[-empyre-] genetics in the media

sdv at krokodile.co.uk sdv at krokodile.co.uk
Fri Oct 26 22:49:37 EST 2007

Two interesting articles in the New Scientist issue of the 27th October.

The first is a piece by Robert Sternberg on the Watson case. Which is an 
exemplary critique of Watson's position which occupies a position which 
makes a social and political critique based on science, rather than as 
some of the responses have been based on respect for heterodoxy or 

The concluding paragraph is especially nice: "The problems with out 
understanding of intelligence and race show that the criticism being 
levelled at Watson is based ons cience rather than political 
correctness. Intelligence is clearly a more complicated issue than 
standard testing allws. And race is a socially constructed  concept , 
mnot a biological one. It derives from peoples desire to classify. 
Whether people with genetic predisposition toward fatness will be 
classified as a seperate race remains to be seen..."

The second article which i think will be of especial interest to Judith 
is the article 'Why the long wait for tailored drugs?' written by Peter 
  Aldhous with a subtitle on personalised medicine. Which supplies some 
examples of genetic research which have identified specific genes CYP2C9 
and VKORC1 which effect the way that current drugs are metabolised by 
the people who have these genes. What is especially interesting given 
the context is that the article explains the social and economic context 
of the science. But and it's quite an important but, it also raises 
categories of knowledge that are missing from the discussion. The 
obvious one being the lack of an argument against the concept of 
psuedoscience, for example the article precisely, if unknowingly shows 
the way in which what might be understood as psuedoscience produces 
usable technology.


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