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Genomics Forum · Events

Short Course - Genes, Genomics and Genetics: the Social Perspective

Past event   30.11.1999





Event details

Despite the major contribution of genetic science to improved health and the prosperity of modern life, there are significant levels of public mistrust and uncertainty about research in this area.

The social sciences can be a critical tool in exploring the relationship between science and wider society. This analysis can also help shape genomics policy, and provide insight and understanding on how genomics research can be socially responsive.

The course, hosted in association with the Centre for Society and Genomics (Nijmegen, The Netherlands), will take place 21-23 November. Participants will explore the role of science with noted social scientists, including: Prof. Steven Yearley, University of Edinburgh; Prof. Joyce Tait, University of Edinburgh; and Dr Paul Martin, University of Nottingham.

The course was designed by Dr Annemiek Nelis from the Centre for Society and Genomics and Dr Matthew Harvey, Research Fellow at the Forum.

“We hope the course will provide a setting in which natural scientists can explore the cultural context of doing science,” Harvey said.

Among the issues the course will examine are why public trust in science and scientists has dropped, how genomics research affects social life, who owns genetic knowledge, and how to talk about science in the media and to the public.

“The laboratory cannot be isolated from society,” Harvey said. “Advances in genomics in particular have social ramifications, and those ramifications influence science, whether through funding, political regulations or public perceptions. Social science can help natural scientists better understand how those cultural processes affect their research.”

The course will conclude with a visit to the Roslin Institute, where Dolly the Sheep was cloned in 1996.

Download Genes, Genomics and Genetics: the Social Perspective (PDF)

Further details