48. Family Reunion: Research opportunity or ethical nightmare?

48. Family Reunion: Research opportunity or ethical nightmare?

By BBC Radio 5 Live

When Robert Shafran arrives for his first day of college he is overwhelmed by the friendliness and familiarity of the other students. Dazed and confused, he soon discovers that he is identical to another boy who just left the college. Both are adopted.

Robert and his brother, Eddy, are thrilled to find each other and it doesn’t take long before – in an unbelievable twist – a third identical brother comes forward. Their feel-good story brings fame and huge media interests. But the story of long-lost brothers reunited soon turns sour when they discover that “those people” who checked in on them throughout their childhood might have had other motives than their wellbeing.

On this episode of Bad People, Dr Julia Shaw and comedian Sofie Hagen discuss how far is too far when it comes to psychological research.

This episode contains audio from the documentary Three Identical Strangers produced by CNN Films and RAW TV, directed by Tim Wardle.

Warning: This episode includes some descriptions of a sexual nature and some distressful scenes including a mention of suicide.

CREDITS Presenters: Dr Julia Shaw and Sofie Hagen Producer: Louisa Field and Simona Rata Editor: Rami Tzabar Music: Matt Chandler Academic Consultants for The Open University: Dr Lara Frumkin and Dr James Munro Commissioning Executive: Dylan Haskins Commissioning Assistant Producer: Adam Eland


Bad People is produced in partnership with The Open University and is a BBC Audio Science Production for BBC Sounds.

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