PROTEST Genetics & Crime mtg Sept. 22-24 Maryland
Support Coalition - David Oaks
chrp at efn.org
Mon Sep 11 18:09:13 MDT 1995
Dear people concerned with human rights and psychiatry,
As many of you know, the rise in urban youth violence has brought
with it a focus on "genetic" and "biochemical" causes of crime,
among some researchers. (Much of this is explained in the book
by Breggin & Ross-Breggin, WAR AGAINST CHILDREN.)
The controversy about the "Bell Curve" and intelligence,
is simlar to this issue of the "Violence Initiative" (as it's been called)
and urban youth crime. African American activists especially have
been organizing to fight it.
An upsurge in organizing cancelled a conference by the University
of Maryland which was emphasizing the link between violence and
BUT THAT CONFERENCE WAS RE-ESTABLISHED by the U.S. government.
It's date was shifted around. Attendance is by invite-only (though we
hear those identifying themselves as researchers may get inside).
However, outside there will hopefully at least be an emergency vigil,
if not a full grown protest. Every person who can get there would
Here's the scoop: It's Sept. 22 to 24, at Aspen Institue Wye Center,
in a rural area of Maryland. (How far from larger cities?
Balto-60 miles, DC-60 miles, Richmond 180 miles)
At bottom is material from the conference pamphlet, along with directions on
how to get there.
Support Coalition has fought the Violence Initiative for more than
three years, and plans to have folks at the "Genetics and Crime
Conference" to protest and vigil, and support any other protesters and
Serious inquiries about details on that protest, please e-mail
to us directly at the main office: <chrp at efn.org>
Please circulate this in *appropriate* places on Internet.
The below information would be enough for you to know about
it, and get there, from the conference brochure:
"Research on Genetics and Criminal Behavior:
Scientific Issues, Social and Political Implications."
"The purpose of this conference is to discuss the scientific
validity and the social, legal, and ethichal
implications of current research on genetics and
criminal behavior. The research to be examined includes
statistical studies of the heritability of violent, impulsive,
antisocial, and criminal behavior, studies designed to
find genetic markers, and ultimately genes, associated
with criminal behavior, and research into the neurobiology
of aggressive and impulsive behavior.
"The conference will focus on two sets of issues. One
concerns the scientific and philosophical questions raised
by claims of a causal relationship between genes and crime.
Conference participants will explore the ways in which genes
interact with the physical and social environment, the
prospects for explaining voluntary actions i terms of
neurobiological processes, and the possibility of finding
genetic predispositions to behavior that is socially
"The other set of issues concerns thesocial and ethical
implications of research on genetics and crime. Critics and
proponents of this research set it against the backdrop of
two very different legacies. On one hand, humanity has a long,
dark [sic] history of 'discovering' sources of inferiority
in certain individuals or groups, then using this 'discovery'
to justify gross inequalities and coercive social programs.
On the other hand, it has been a hallmark of enlightenment
to recognize that undesirable traits and behaviors often arise
from biological or psychiatric problems, rather than moral
defects, and to offer humane treatments rather than impose
"Proponents of research on genetics and crime argue that
credible research in this area focuses exclusively on
individual, not group, differences and will provide no
support for racial or ethnic generalizations. They believe
that the discovery of genetic sources for criminal
behavior will lead to more effective and less punitive
interventions. Critics contend that even if this research
is focused entirely on individuals, it will be publicly
perceived as supporting racial stereotypes and used to
justify repressive social policies...."
Of the 30 or so particpants listed as of July 22:
Gregory Carey, Inst for Behavioral Genetics, U Colo Boulder
Diana Fishbein, Dept of Justice (presumed baddie)
Eliot Gershon, NIMH
David Goldman, NIAAA
Irving Gottesman, Psychology, UVa
Dean Hamer, Natl Cancer Inst
Adrian Raine, Psychology, USC
Franklin Zimring, U of Ca School of Law
James Cheverud, Dept Anat & Neurobiology, Wash U Med Sch
David Comings, Dept Med Genetics, City of Hope Med Center
?Martin Daly, Psychology, McMaster?
?Ray Jeffery, Criminology & Crim Justice, Fla State U
??Eric Lander, Whitehead Inst, MIT Center for Genome Research??
?Michael T. McGuire, Neuropsychiatric INst & Hosp, UCLA
Michael Tonry, UMinn Law School
Also: Directions to Aspen Institue Wye Center:
>From NY (180 miles), Phila (106 miles): At the west end of
the Delaware Memorial bridge (near Wilmington DEL) follow US
Route 301 south about 65 miles to the traffic light at the
intersection of Maryland Rte 213 (In Queen Anne County).
Turn left on Rte 213 and proceed to the traffic light at US
Rte 50. Turn right on US Rte 50. Turn left 1/2 mile after
milepost 50, at Carmichael Road and sign marked "ASPEN/
WYE INSTITUTES" Proceed about 3 miles on Carmichael Rd. to the
intersection with Cheston Lane. Turn right onto Cheston Lane
to Wye Center.
>From DC: US 50 east to Annapolis, MD and cross Chesapeake Bay
Bridge and stay on Rte 50 about 12 miles. Turn right 1/2 mile
after milepost 49, at Carmichael Road and sign marked ASPEN/
WYE. Proceed about 3 miles, etc.
>From Balto: Md Rte 3/I97 south to US 50, cross Chesapeake Bay
>From Norfolk & Tidewater, VA: Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel,
follow US Rte 13 N. to Salisbury, MD. In Salisbury, take US
50 west (left_ about 64 miles, thru Cambridge and Easton.
Watch for milepost 50, turn left 1/2 mile after milepost 50,
at Carmichael Rd and sign, etc.
Balto-60 miles, DC-60 miles, Richmond 180 miles.
Phone number of conference center is 410-827-7400.
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