Today we protested the Spectrum 10k study outside the Autism Research Centre in Cambridge.
Spectrum 10k is a study that proposes to gather the DNA of ten thousand Autistic individuals, with the supposed aim of research into providing more support.
It all looks wonderful on the surface, the fact that there will be no safeguarding over the DNA, that it is open for any researcher to access is quite frankly terrifying.
We as Autistic people have valid concerns over who will assess the DNA, Simon Baron Cohen below:
Professor Simon Baron-Cohen
Director, Autism Research Centre, Cambridge University
An ability to understand numbers could be in DNA.
The prospect of a prenatal test for autism, allowing couples to choose whether to have a baby with the condition, is coming closer. And with it also comes the possibility of a prenatal drug treatment being developed.
But in this week’s Scrubbing Up, leading autism expert Professor Simon Baron-Cohen warns caution is needed to ensure associated talents, like numerical abilities, are not lost if the test or a “cure” become available.
“Males, maths and autism. On the face of it, these three things don’t appear to be linked. And yet they are.
Males are much more likely to apply to university to study maths, for example.”
So basically eugenics but caution is needed so that they can pick out the males who are good at maths.
The ableism and discrimination is revolting.
Please see in our discussion for more links.
Collectively, we, a group of Autistic academics, activists, and advocates have written an open statement of concern regarding @Spectrum_10K and urge you to read and sign.
ActuallyAutistic #StopSpectrum10K #BoycottSpectrum10k
Please send @Boycottspect10k a follow on Twitter and Instagram.
We would like to thank everyone who came out today, we were not allowed to use the Centre’s toilet facilities as the staff were all given the day off and the Centre was shut down with a big new chain placed on the gate.
So thank you to Cambridge Lakes Golf Club for their use of toilet facilities and their lovely tea, coffee and muffins.
Advocates spoke out here:
We were featured in the Cambridge Independent here: