Michael-  I do think that Science Magazine has a pretty bad history of publishing "behavior genetics" papers that 1)could have been better refereed and maybe even rejected, 2)way overstate the data and implications and 3)tout such articles with their own feature articles.   I use several of these in my course, particularly because the fact of their being published in prestigious Science Magazine, and then the magazine featuring it even more to attract attention has repeatedly led to broad media coverage and social consequences.  (One of the cases is, of course, the microcephalin story you covered, and even though you gave a balanced report, the very fact of Science featuring it this way is all that's needed to help it take off.)                           Jon

At 01:29 AM 6/26/2009, you wrote:
Who is "promoting" behavioral ecology? Not me, certainly, all I did was say that Begley had referred to that field in her piece.

It would not be correct to say that Science has "promoted" either evolutionary psychology or behavioral genetics, although the journal has written about these subjects occasionally and there are a couple of reporters who are interested in them. We have also written about when they don't work out in several recent articles including the blog I just did on the Begley article and a story in today's issue on psychiatric genetics:,HWELTR

Why don't we stick to the issues instead of engaging in the guilt by association logic that I thought we had got past on this list.


On Fri, Jun 26, 2009 at 6:40 AM, mart <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
its nice you are promoting beahvioral ecology, but don't forget science mag has been one of the major formats for promoting evolutionary psychology and behavior genetics.   (i can only think of a few right now, but its in there.)   also, i did correct myself after reading past the first paragraph. (even chagnon was in science, promoting the idea that brazilian indigenous people did exactly as is promoted from unm, but a re-analyses of the data sugeested there was measurment bias.)  Keep going.

--- On Thu, 6/25/09, Michael Balter <[log in to unmask] > wrote:

> From: Michael Balter <[log in to unmask] >
> Subject: Re: Why Do We Rape, Kill and Sleep Around?
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Date: Thursday, June 25, 2009, 1:38 PM
> Begley does not refer to behavioral
> psychology, as Phil says, but behavioral ecology. Perhaps
> that was just a typo.
> I agree with Phil on Gould, however.
> MB

Michael Balter
Contributing Correspondent, Science
Adjunct Professor of Journalism,
Boston University

Email:           [log in to unmask]

Balter's Blog:

Jon Beckwith
Dept. of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics
Harvard Medical School
200 Longwood Ave.
Boston, MA 02115

Tel. 617-432-1920
FAX 617-738-7664
e-mail [log in to unmask]
website <>

Remember: My book, a memoir:
Making Genes, Making Waves: A Social Activist in Science, Harvard University Press (2002)  Harvard University Press.  and the latest: Beckwith, J., and Morris, C.A. Twin Studies of Political Behavior: Untenable Assumptions? Perspectives on Politics 6 (4): 785-781 (2008).