The work being done in cancer epigenetics not only introduces substantial complications into the scientific understanding of cancer, and of genetics in general, but perhaps even more substantial complications of the politics and policy of cancer because of the way it shifts attention back towards the nexus of genes and their environments.
My name is Shea Robison. (Follow me on Twitter at @EpigeneticsGuy and see my academic profile at Academia.edu) As is well known, Darwin’s theory of evolution presented fundamental challenges to many of the prevailing core beliefs and values of the mid-1800s. These fundamental ontological challenges account for the significant scientific and ecclesiastical opposition which greeted the publication of On … Continue reading The Reception of Epigenetics: More like Mendel or Darwin?
by Shea Robison (@EpigeneticsGuy) While there is a growing acceptance of epigenetics, there is still a lot of skepticism from within conventional genetics about the claims emerging from epigenetics. The most common rejoinders against the significance of epigenetics are either that the findings of epigenetics are novel but inconsequential, or that epigenetics has always been an accepted … Continue reading Epigenetics and the geopolitical history of the 20th century
by Shea Robison The highly political and ideological history of epigenetics discussed here and here and here helps to explain why epigenetics has only just now emerged as a signficant field of scientific research, as well as why epigenetics has such a mixed reception even today. Below are two examples of the chilling influence of world politics … Continue reading Epigenetics and Two of its Cold War Casualties
by Shea Robison In addition to the reasons discussed here and here, another cause for the split between genetics and epigenetics, and the different trajectories of each, has to do with geography and world events. As mentioned before, the fields of genetics and embryology – which was where most of the work on epigenetics was being … Continue reading History, Part III: Epigenetics and the Dustbin of History