Magazine article The Times Higher Education Supplement : THE

Disruption Fears Halt LSE Event on How Benefits 'Warp' Claimants

Magazine article The Times Higher Education Supplement : THE

Disruption Fears Halt LSE Event on How Benefits 'Warp' Claimants

Article excerpt

Talk by controversial researcher postponed after 'negative social media activity'. Jack Grove writes

A controversial talk on how state benefits can "warp" the personalities of the unemployed has been postponed until further notice over concerns that left-wing activists were threatening to disrupt it.

Adam Perkins, lecturer in the neurobiology of personality at King's College London, was due to speak on 9 February in the latest of a series of events at the London School of Economics on the welfare state until it was called off with just a few days' notice.

Listings for the event state that the postponement was the result of "unforeseen circumstances", but the LSE confirmed to Times Higher Education that its organisers took the action because they were "aware of some negative social media activity" related to the talk.

Dr Perkins' research has been criticised for stigmatising the long-term unemployed, having stated that "individuals with aggressive, rule-breaking and antisocial personality characteristics are over-represented among welfare claimants".

His new book, The Welfare Trait, which states his belief that habitual welfare claimants can pass these characteristics on to their children, has also been criticised, with one internet commenter calling this view a "modern PC version of genocide".

In the run-up to his LSE talk, his views were denounced as "grotesque" on Twitter, and disability rights group Black Triangle appeared to be organising a picket and protest on the day. …

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