The Promise and Peril of the New Science of Social Genomics

October 21, 2019

(Nature) – The study— published this week in Nature Human Behaviour — is a high-profile example of an emerging trend: using huge amounts of data and computing power to uncover genetic contributions to complex social traits. Studies published in the past decade have examined genetic variants linked to aggression, same-sex sexual behaviour, well-being and antisocial behaviours, as well as the tendency to drink and smoke. In doing such science, geneticists are heading for controversial territory. They have even been accused of “opening a new door to eugenics”, according to the title of a 2018 MIT Technology Review article by science historian Nathaniel Comfort

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