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::: center home >> events >> lunchtime >> 2003-04 >> abstracts

Tuesday, 14 October, 2003
Genes, Behaviors, and the Brain
Kenneth Schaffner, George Washington University
12:05 p.m., 817R Cathedral of Learning

Abstract: This talk begins by briefly reviewing the hopes and controversies raised by behavioral (and psychiatric) genetics. Two approaches to behavioral genetics are outlined: (1) the epidemiological or “quantitative,” and (2) the molecular, along with some important results and foundational questions about both approaches, including concerns about “the gloomy prospect.” Some recent projections from major defenders of behavioral genetics about this field are then introduced and discussed, including the role of the brain as an “intermediary” between genetics and behavior, and the strategy of using microarrays (genetic chips) to elucidate the relations between genes and behaviors. My talk closes with some speculations regarding possible lessons from this inquiry for science and technology studies, including history, philosophy, and social studies of science, and relates these lessons to developmentalism and what might be called “the disastrous prospect.”

Revised 3/11/08 - Copyright 2006