The Decision Trap questions a dogma of our time: the assumption that genetic education empowers citizens and increases their automy. It argues that professional instructions about genes, genetic risks, and genetic test options convey a genetic worldview which destroys self-confidence and makes clients dependent on genetic experts and techlogies. Part one of the book introduces the reader to the idea of genetic education. It clarifies the tion of the gene as it is commonly understood, and shows that, scientifically, the concept of genes as definable, causal agents is outdated. Part two of the book investigates the hidden curriculum of genetic education, using genetic counselling as a prime example. Genetic counselling is a professional service that aims to enable clients to make automous decisions about genetic test options and cope with the results.
Silja Samerski is assistant professor in the Department of Sociology at Leibniz University of Hannover. Her current research focuses on the history and social function of professional counselling. She is author of the book Die Verrechnete Hoffnung (The Mathematization of Hope) and has been published in numerous English and German journals and anthologies. She is s trained both as a human geneticist and a sociologist.