Matt Ridley’s opening talk ‘How Nurture Turns on Nature’ drew a crowd to Phoenix Arts Centre in Exeter. The ensuing audience discussion focused on whether framing the question in these terms – ‘nature’ and ‘nurture’ – carries the risk of resorting to stereotypes rather than encouraging new understandings of human genomics and its implications for society. Over the following two days, conference delegates heard a rich programme of presentations, including several by academics from abroad as well as representatives of several NGOs. The highlights of the conference included plenary sessions on genetic testing in the NHS and the on-going development of UK BioBank, as well as on the implications of genomics for international development. These sessions featured speakers with varied backgrounds, from social and natural science and from basic research to policy-making. For those who were unable to obtain a ticket, Matt Ridley’s talk will be available on the Egenis website at the end of October 2005.
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