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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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Perfecting people: the inexorable rise of prevention science

Perfecting people: the inexorable rise of prevention science

(p.129) Six Perfecting people: the inexorable rise of prevention science
Blinded by Science

David Wastell

Sue White

Policy Press

This chapter reviews the rise of prevention science in the late twentieth and early twenty first centuries. Located within the developmental origins of health and disease paradigm, prevention science promotes intervention to stop damage and ensure optimal human flourishing. Prevention science combines infant determinism, economic modeling and versions of evidence-based practice, with consequences for concepts of normality. Although persuasive, we illustrate the fundamental limitations and flaws of the macro-economical approach, with reference to the influential work of James Heckman. The use of biomarkers to enable more effective targeting of policy interventions is highlighted, although we note that the benefits of such approaches are marginal.

Keywords:   early intervention, macroconomics, prevention, parenting, Randomised Controlled Trial, RCT, targeting, biomarkers

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