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.








“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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