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Blinded by ScienceThe Social Implications of Epigenetics and Neuroscience$
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David Wastell and Susan White

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781447322337

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447322337.001.0001

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Blaming the brain

Blaming the brain

(p.61) Three Blaming the brain
Blinded by Science

David Wastell

Sue White

Policy Press

This chapter examines how biology has been brought to bear in understanding forms of behaviour variously known as madness, mental illness or developmental disorder, culminating in the current preoccupations with finding the genetic markers and neurological traces for a variety of manifestations of the human condition. Two developmental disorders are highlighted: autism and ADHD. In both cases the quest for biomarkers has been unavailing, but this seems only to have inspired greater exertion, showing the potency of the neuromolecular thought-style and the bias to seek confirmatory evidence for its truth. What the science actually shows is uncertainty and a pattern of inconsistent and unreliable findings.

Keywords:   biological psychiatry, twin studies, developmental disorders, brain networks, genetics, science studies, technology studies, myth of the missing genes

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