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177 EIGHT Human epigenetics prematurely born(e)? In this chapter, we shift our focus from animals to humans and examine the extant literature on the human epigenome. We review seminal work on the impact of natural disasters on the epigenome and revisit the familiar terrain of gestation and early infancy, reconfigured as a problem to be prevented, understood and fixed at the molecular level. We interrogate the nature of the claims made within the literature and also examine the thought style and presuppositions, particularly in those studies which seek to

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481 Families, Relationships and Societies • vol 3 • no 3 • 481–84 • © Policy Press 2014 • #FRS Print ISSN 2046 7435 • Online ISSN 2046 7443 • http://dx.doi.org/10.1332/204674314X14110461422823 Neuroscience, epigenetics and the intergenerational transmission of social life: exploring expectations and engagements Martyn Pickersgill, martyn.pickersgill@ed.ac.uk University of Edinburgh, UK Research in neuroscience and epigenetics is prominent in biomedicine and beyond. Some policy makers, health professionals and other citizens have intuited particular

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157 SEVEN Epigenetics: rat mum to my Mum? The last chapter reviewed the aspirations and thought styles of the various actors involved in the prevention science project. We saw that epigenetic mechanisms are starting to be invoked in the name of prevention, treatment and targeting. It is the latest technology to be brought to bear in the project of fixing people, and this chapter will dig into the epigenetic thought style in depth, by analysing some of the seminal work as well as giving a more general flavour of the mainstream research being undertaken

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The social implications of epigenetics and neuroscience
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In recent years, new areas of biology, especially epigenetics and neuroscience, have enthralled the public imagination. They have been used as powerful arguments for developing social policy in a particular direction, from early intervention in the lives of disadvantaged children to seeking ‘biomarkers’ as identifiers of criminality.

This timely book, written by leading commentators, critically examines the capabilities and limitations of these biotechnologies, exploring their implications for policy and practice.

The book will enable social scientists, policy makers, practitioners and interested general readers to understand how the new biologies of epigenetics and neuroscience have increasingly influenced the fields of family policy, mental health, child development and criminal justice.

The book will facilitate much needed debate about what makes a good society and how best to build one. It also draws attention to the ways that the uncertainties of the original science are lost in their translation into the everyday world of practice and policy.

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131 Critical and Radical Social Work • vol 6 • no 1 • 131–33 • © Policy Press 2018 • #CRSW Print ISSN 2049 8608 • Online ISSN 2049 8675 • https://doi.org/10.1332/204986018X15199226335042 book review Alexia Barrable, a.barrable@dundee.ac.uk, University of Dundee, UK David Wastell and Sue White (2017) Blinded by science: The social implications of epigenetics and neuroscience Policy Press 304 pps Paperback 978-1447322344 • £26.99 Hardback 978-1447322337 • £70.00 Writing about a constantly shifting landscape, such as that of epigenetics and neuroscience, is

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This book offers an analysis and summary of the uses, abuses and limitations of attachment theory in contemporary child welfare practice.

Analysing the primary science and drawing on the authors’ original empirical work, the book shows how attachment theory can distort and influence decision-making. It argues that the dominant view of attachment theory may promote a problematic diagnostic mindset, whilst undervaluing the enduring relationships between children and adults.

The book concludes that attachment theory can still play an important role in child welfare practice, but the balance of the research agenda needs a radical shift towards a sophisticated understanding of the realities of human experience to inform ethical practice.

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A Social Model

The state is increasingly experienced as both intrusive and neglectful, particularly by those living in poverty, leading to loss of trust and widespread feelings of alienation and disconnection.

Against this tense background, this innovative book argues that child protection policies and practices have become part of the problem, rather than ensuring children’s well-being and safety.

Building on the ideas in the best-selling Re-imagining child protection and drawing together a wide range of social theorists and disciplines, the book:

• Challenges existing notions of child protection, revealing their limits;

• Ensures that the harms children and families experience are explored in a way that acknowledges the social and economic contexts in which they live;

• Explains how the protective capacities within families and communities can be mobilised and practices of co-production adopted;

• Places ethics and human rights at the centre of everyday conversations and practices.

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Who’s ‘Saving’ Children and Why

A vital interrogation of the internationally accepted policy and practice consensus that intervention to shape parenting in the early years is the way to prevent disadvantage. Given the divisive assumptions and essentialist ideas behind early years intervention, in whose interests does it really serve?

This book critically assesses assertions that the ‘wrong type of parenting’ has biological and cultural effects, stunting babies’ brain development and leading to a life of poverty and under-achievement. It shows how early intervention policies underpinned by interpretations of brain science perpetuate gendered, classed and raced inequalities. The exploration of future directions will be welcomed by those looking for a positive, collectivist vision of the future that addresses the real underlying issues in the creation of disadvantage.

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Rethinking Contemporary Myths of Meritocracy
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The COVID-19 pandemic closed schools, but this hiatus provided an opportunity to rethink the fundamental principles of our education system.

In this thought-provoking book, Alice Bradbury discusses how, before the pandemic, the education system assumed ability to be measurable and innate, and how this meritocracy myth reinforced educational inequalities – a central issue during the crisis.

Drawing on a project dealing with ability-grouping practices, Bradbury analyses how the recent educational developments of datafication and neuroscience have revised these ideas about how we classify and label children, and how we can rethink the idea of innate intelligence as we rebuild a post-pandemic schooling system.

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Digital Data, Gene Technologies, and an Ethics of Transhumanism

The concept of transhumanism emerged in the middle of the 20th century, and has influenced discussions around AI, brain–computer interfaces, genetic technologies and life extension. Despite its enduring influence in the public imagination, a fully developed philosophy of transhumanism has not yet been presented.

In this new book, leading philosopher Stefan Lorenz Sorgner explores the critical issues that link transhumanism with digitalization, gene technologies and ethics. He examines the history and meaning of transhumanism and asks bold questions about human perfection, cyborgs, genetically enhanced entities, and uploaded minds.

Offering insightful reflections on values, norms and utopia, this will be an important guide for readers interested in contemporary digital culture, gene ethics, and policy making.

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