Siddhartha Mukherjee's recent article on epigenetics has drawn heavy criticism—rightly?by Philip Ball / June 7, 2016 / Leave a comment
When I first saw the avalanche of anger and complaint from scientists directed at an article in the New Yorker written by Siddhartha Mukherjee, I couldn’t help wondering: what could it possibly be about this young, Pulitzer-prize winning Ivy League professor and one-time Rhodes scholar that has set people’s backs up so? But the truth is that the criticisms of Mukherjee’s article on epigenetics (a term that I will go on to explain more fully, but which means “above genetics”) can’t be dismissed as jealous carping. In fact, they have a great deal of validity. The article can easily be read as yet another contribution to the hype about epigenetics—which, some have misleadingly alleged, rewrites the standard picture of how genes affect biological development and evolution.