ACEs: Light bulb moment or magic bullet for social ills in Scotland?

Police are the latest group to hail an index of child trauma that offers a key to health and behaviour. But is it good science, asks Chris Marshall In the mid-1980s, doctors running a weight loss programme at a clinic in San Diego happened upon a startling discovery. Struggling to understand why successful slimmers were quitting, lead physician Dr Vincent Felitti began interviewing the leavers and found many had experienced sexual abuse in childhood. His findings led to a conclusion that woul

Interview: Scots psyche leads to parents passing trauma on to children

Gabor Maté knew childhood trauma from a young age. Born into a Jewish family in occupied Hungary at the end of the Second World War, his maternal grandparents were killed at Auschwitz, his father made to endure forced labour by the Nazis. Maté later emigrated to Canada and would go on to forge a career as a doctor, eventually writing about his experiences of working with Vancouver’s drug addicts in his seminal book In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts. He believes the trauma many of us suffer in chil

Don’t treat addicts as criminals, says Portuguese drugs tsar

The doctor who helped Portugal tackle its drugs epidemic through decriminalisation has urged Scotland to adopt a similar approach to halt a rising number of deaths. João Goulão, the country’s drug tsar, said decriminalising possession in 2001 had helped remove the stigma of substance misuse, allowing those with addictions to be treated with “dignity”. Drugs remain illegal in Portugal, but those found with small quantities for recreational use are not prosecuted but instead encouraged to underg

Coul Links: Wildlife groups ‘using Trump to sabotage golf project’

The project to create a golf development, known as Coul Links, is being considered by the Scottish government Alamy American developers behind plans to build a golf course on one of Scotland’s most protected coastlands have accused environmentalists of exploiting Donald Trump controversies to undermine their project. The long-running project to create a golf development, known as Coul Links, on specially protected sand dunes in Sutherland is being considered by the Scottish government. Descri

Kevin Mcleod harbour death review may lead to second FAI

A second fatal accident inquiry could be held into the death of a man pulled from a harbour after the discovery of new evidence, his family has been told. Kevin Mcleod’s body was recovered from Wick harbour in Caithness in 1997 and the death was not treated as murder by police, despite an instruction from local prosecutors. The Crown Office has told the family that a second FAI may be held due to evidence not available at the first hearing in 1998, at which an open verdict was returned. In Jun

Smart technology ‘opening door to terrorism’

The use of interconnected devices has been likened to leaving a front door open ALAMY New technologies such as driverless cars and internet-enabled home appliances are creating “increasingly vulnerable targets” and giving terrorists and criminals unprecedented access into people’s lives, an expert has claimed. Audrey Kurth Cronin, a former adviser to members of the US Congress, said that, without regulation, new technology risked making the world a more dangerous place within five to ten years

Universities may need new research funding sources

Professor Sir Anton Muscatelli, principal of Glasgow University, wants funding prioritised for areas including precision medicine, life sciences, engineering and digital industries ALAMY The principal of Glasgow University has said that Brexit is “casting a shadow” over Scotland’s universities and that he wants immigration powers to be devolved. Professor Sir Anton Muscatelli said that leaving the EU would make it more difficult to attract talent and could put research funding at risk. Publish