Crime and genes

Published: Wednesday 15 November 1995

SCHEDULED to be held three years ago but repeatedly postponed due to the raging controversy surrounding it, the conference to debate on the possible relation between Genetics and Criminal Behaviour finally took place in the last week of September at Maryland, Washington DC. David Wasserman of University of Maryland's Institute of Philosophy and Public Policy, who was the moving force behind the meeting sponsored by the National Institutes of Health, intended it to be a forum where "people with divergent views listen to each other." instead it degenerated into a veritable battleground, where protestors waving red flags and chanting anti-fascist slogans drowned the voices of the researchers who had gathered to display their works which they believed can prove that genes can lead to violent and criminal behaviour.

"It will be used for virtual genocide," predicted Rob Cook, a protestor from Rutgers University, New Jersey, He and his fellow campaigners are convinced that the political implication of such research could be devastating for certain communities.

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