Welcome to the Genomics Forum blog

Based at The University of Edinburgh, the ESRC Genomics Policy and Research Forum is part of the ESRC Genomics Network and pioneers new ways to promote and communicate social research on the contemporary life sciences.

Thursday, 6 October 2011

'Lighting up '

by Mairi Levitt  - Genomics Forum Bright Ideas Fellow
Senior Lecturer, Department of Politics, Philosophy and Religion, Lancaster University, www.lancs.ac.uk/fass/faculty/profiles/Mairi-Levitt

It is week 4 of my bright ideas fellowship and the light bulb on top of my head has lit up a few times already!  I am getting used to a blank diary that I can fill with reading, thinking, coffee drinking and discussions.  In fact today I managed to be late for the only meeting I had not arranged myself. The Forum's team got together and I was ensconced in the university library law section reading about automatons in Scots law…well it might have been relevant to behavioural genetics  (‘an external factor not self-induced’, that you could not forsee, that ‘results in a complete alienation of reason’ etc).  But actually it doesn’t seem to be relevant after all since your genetic make-up is internal not external and the research I’m interested in shows correlations with problem behaviours not  ‘a complete loss of self control’.

I share a room with Peter Arnott (playwright and most prolific blogger at the Genomics Forum) and he has not only read one of my journal articles (on genetics and crime) but wants me to come to an open meeting at the Traverse theatre in his Translating the Genome series to discuss it.  Nice to be able to say yes without checking whether it clashes with teaching or other university duties.   I could also spend each and every day in the National Library overdosing on a few of the 14 million items which can be brought to your desk and recommended for the coffee and free newspapers when you need a break. But I only have 5 weeks left after this one so I need to narrow down my interests a bit….why did I say I’d only come for 2 months?!

Mairi will be holding a seminar on ‘Whatever genes one has it is preferable that you are prevented from going around stabbing people’: Genes, environment and responsibility for behaviour at the Genomics Forum on Thursday 3 November, please email forum@genomicsnetwork.ac.uk to register.

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