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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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Are we broken? Fixing people (or society) in the 21st century

Are we broken? Fixing people (or society) in the 21st century

(p.199) Nine Are we broken? Fixing people (or society) in the 21st century
Blinded by Science

David Wastell

Sue White

Policy Press

This chapter questions whether the neurological and molecular levels are the most appropriate domains to guide the actions of the State. The reductionism of such thinking creates a form of scientific “tunnel vision” dangerously constraining the direction of future inquiry. The Chapter explores the consequences of the prevailing moral and scientific settlements, demonstrating how these have shifted preferred policy responses towards those that are individualised and increasingly medicalized. A preoccupation with prevention, early intervention and the privileging of certain forms of evidence (that furnished by clinical trials, biological evidence) are squeezing out conversations about different, and potentially more desirable and sustainable, actions to make people’s lives better.

Keywords:   criminology, screen and intervene, reductionism, therapeutic state, community based interventions, medicalization

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