With recent advancement of science and technology, especially related to full genome sequencing and detailed brain imagery, academic researchers are now exploring what makes us who we are in more detail than ever before. One research area of potential controversy is analyzing genes to see if they can predict things like intelligence, personality, and mental disorders. While it is clear that there is no SINGLE gene for brain-related differences, researchers are now able to predict some differences by looking at thousands of places in our genomes, and generating a "polygenetic score".
For example, Robert Plomin at King's College London, describes how school performance can be predicted from DNA. Preliminary work can predict about 10% of the difference. DNA can also now predict about 18% of the chance to develop schizophrenia (see [ajp.psychiatryonline.org] ).
While his team has examined only European DNA out of fear of backlash, other researches are currently using similar techniques to examine controversial topics like race and IQ/personality, gender differences, and the propensity to be gay or trans. If it turns out that this research result in findings that are in conflict with the social justice movement, what should be the response? Should some areas of research be off-limits for the greater good?
Actual knowledge is neutral and harmless. It is what is done with it by way of harm or improvement which makes the difference. If it is not there to open view then every person cannot see the planning which is needed to be done in order to maximize the benefits of knowing , That is surely the intention of the insurance company unless they add too big a premium - thus losing customers
I do think mental illness from a chemical imbalance can be genetic. I think some gene pools carry a higher IQ. I don't support human cloning, any genetic engineering of people or eugenics. That should be banned. Environment plays a huge part. We don't know. Children from the same gene pool, raised by the same parents are different. Let's not anyone think they've got all the answers.
I did not have time to listen to all of it, chickens to feed, clothes to wash, house to clean etc. But am thinking of getting his book. In Special Ed when dealing with parents we oft remind ourselves of the phrase, The apple does not fall far from the tree. Many of our parents have the same problems as our students.
Define controversial research.
Knowledge in and of itself is not the problem, how people get the knowledge (torturing others, barbaric practices etc) or use the knowledge (to exclude/exterminate) is the problem.
If children are screened at birth and those that show they are only going to be middling students are all sent to a poorly funded school where the curriculum is set at the basics or those that show they can excel are sent to a school that is funded at a higher level in order to provide an exciting and enriching education, that is a problem. This creates social problems and discrimination.
If children are screened at birth and those that show to be at risk are put into special programs early, parents are educated in how to help them at home before they come to school and schools are given extra funding to help them achieve all that they can then I am all for it. Early intervention has been shown to help many types of children with different conditions.
My fear is that we end up with the first scenario not the second.
In my opinion research usually paves the way to knowledge, and knowledge is generally a good thing to have, so I'm against the banning of any sort of research. With that said, I do strongly think that certain researchers/research organizations should be funded privately, as Government money (aka the taxpayer dollars) needs to be spent wisely (fiscally responsible in other words).
The findings cannot be controversial in and of themselves. If the emergent facts make certain people uncomfortable because it challenges their beliefs and prejudices, then that says something unfortunate about those individuals.
It was the denial of facts by churches throughout the ages that has resulted in torture, rape, murder and genocide.
And who is to define what constitutes "the greater good" in this context?
Too late. Research has already concluded that there is no genetic basis for race. There is more genetic diversity inside Africa than in the rest of the world combined. That ship has sailed. What we call race is due only to evolutionary time spent at different latitudes. If we find a class of humans who are genetically limited in intelligence we should direct them to join the Republican Party where they can be seamlessly assimilated.
No censorship, nothing but full disclosure and accountability. Science is neither good nor bad, it simply is. It's how we humans use that knowledge that determines a good or bad outcomes.
Having knowledge is beneficial if you use it that way. If we find out "what", can "why" be far behind. We are already having a crisis of anti-science and anti-intelligence, those battles must be fought with all the tools we can muster.... including learning not so pleasant things about ourselves.