Nine essays examining the ethical, cultural, legal, and biological underpinnings of behavioral genetics.
Scientists conducting human genome research are identifying genetic disorders and traits at an accelerating rate. Genetic factors in human behavior appear particularly complex and slow to emerge, yet are raising their own set of difficult ethical, legal, and social issues. In Behavioral Genetics: The Clash of Culture and Biology, Ronald Carson and Mark Rothstein bring together well-known experts from the fields of genetics, ethics, neuroscience, psychiatry, sociology, and law to address the cultural, legal, and biological underpinnings of behavioral genetics. The authors discuss a broad range of topics, including the ethical questions arising from gene therapy and screening, molecular research in psychiatry, and the legal ramifications and social consequences of behavioral genetic information. Throughout, they focus on two basic concerns: the quality of the science behind behavioral genetic claims and the need to formulate an appropriate, ethically defensible response when the science turns out to be good.
“This book is well written and stimulating. The issues it raises are important for scientists and for those working in the legal and social-services fields, but they clearly also have relevance for everyone.” —The New England Journal of Medicine
“This . . . is the best introduction to behavioral genetics that I have read. The varying viewpoints . . . are presented with such clarity that [this book] should appeal to the general public and serve as a basic text for college courses.” —Jay Katz, Elizabeth K. Dollard Professor Emeritus of Law, Medicine, and Psychiatry, Harvey L. Karp Professiorial Lecturer in Law and Psychoanalysis, Yale Law School