a pertinent pinch of salt?

Whenever I present my work on empathy and try to describe what neuroscience is telling us about the brain circuits involved, I feel slightly uneasy. Surely – the back of my mind asks, even as I speak – it can’t be this simple?

Today I came across a review of a new book in the Guardian newspaper – it sounds like it will help with this problem, and be a timely reminder of how political and commercial interests exert pressure on which science issues are researched and how.

Genes-Cells-and-Brains-Biosc

 

 

 

 

 

 

“This fascinating, lucid and angry book by the sociologist Hilary Rose and the neurobiologist Steven Rose .. boasts abundant targets and a lethally impressive hit ratio. They decry the entrepreneurialisation of science – “wealth creation is now unabashedly formalised as the chief objective of science and technology policy” – not least because it actually impedes science. (“PhD students can work for months on a project only to find that they cannot continue as they have run into a patent.”) They lambast the “armchair” theorising of evolutionary psychology, with its ungrounded assumption that we have “stone-age minds in the 21st century”. They scorn the “neuromyths” sold to the educational establishment,…”

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