The Downside of the Downside of Resilience: A New York Times Oped Ventures Into Dangerous Territory

Interesting reply to Jay Belsky’s article, the Downside of Resilience, published in the New York Times Sunday Review.
I don’t necessarily agree fully, but with great possible advances ,such as personalized medicine and perhaps even personalized education interventions based on genetic testing, comes great ethical difficulties. Policy and science are not analogous, yet we wish for policy to be influenced by science so how can we as scientist stand outside and neutrally observe how science results are and could be used…

The DNA Exchange

Although we take seriously the threat of genetic discrimination, there aren’t a lot of examples you can offer. In my ethics class, I discuss the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad case — everyone discusses the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad case, not because it is such an interesting precedent but because it is all we’ve got. BNSF secretly tested their employees for genetic liability to carpal tunnel syndrome. The fact that it was genetic testing was almost beside the point. Can ever you secretly test your employees? No, you cannot. But the genetic testing angle made it extra creepy. Why? Because we are primed to worry about genetics. It is too new and too powerful not to carry with it the seeds of some unspecified disaster. We just don’t know what it is yet. We are heading out into the wilderness here, the wilderness within. How can we set about…

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