This article is a response to Zoe Williams’ piece in the guardian which can be accessed here. This piece, which critiqued the use of neuroscience in child protection policy, has generated considerable controversy. Many letters were published about it, many upset and surprised that she took this line. Letters can be accessed here.
Zoe Williams, a journalist whose politics we have generally agreed with, lines up witnesses for the prosecution against what she sees as inappropriate use of brain science in social policy. She scores some direct hits. Yes, there have been clumsy attempts to grab attention with extreme images of severely neglected shrivelled brains. Yes, some attempts to explain the neuroscience have been crude. But a few examples of bad practice do not invalidate an entire body of rigorous science.