Way back in the early days of Science 2.0, we carried an interview with journalist Gary Taubes in which he said the best way to weed out bad scientists was to let them chase something fashionable for attention.
I used to joke with my friends in the physics community that if you want to cleanse your discipline of the worst scientists in it, every three or four years, you should have someone publish a bogus paper claiming to make some remarkable new discovery — infinite free energy or ESP, or something suitably cosmic like that. Then you have it published in a legitimate journal ; it shows up on the front page of the New York Times, and within two months, every bad scientist in the field will be working on it.

Then you just take the ones who publish papers claiming to replicate the effect, and you throw them out of the field. A way of cleaning out the bottom of the barrel.
Epigenetics is a nascent field and so it has been easily exploited by people claiming their own cosmic effects and hiding them behind a veneer of biology. Everything from your waistline to how you vote has been blamed on your grandparents, without much evidence that epigenetic changes are actually inherited in humans - or even mammals.

Scholars invoking epigenetics think they are doing some good but they may be doing something very bad for women. Epigenetics has the potential to take the bizarre shaming of pregnant mothers who drink a glass of wine to new heights and become shaming women for just about every behavior they engage in. Feminists think the big problems women face are how little President Obama and environmentalists pay women compared to men, but invoking science for shaming would make it culturally acceptable to control women in a way that Mid-East cultures only dream about. 

Writing at Real Clear Science, Alex Berezow notes that it's probably good for science journalists to start injecting some sanity into epigenetics coverage, even if they have been taught to defend all science at all costs or they happen to like the conclusion. You know, get back to being journalists.

The biggest way to do so is remembering why so many promising compounds that work well in animal models fail spectacularly in clinical trials: animals are not people.

Will Epigenetics Be Used to Oppress Women? by Alex B. Berezow, Real Clear Science

Image credit: University of Texas