From The Character of Science

Genetics and genomics on screen

Jon guest authored this blog article for the Genomics Education Programme of Health Education England, drawing on his findings from his PhD research

Genetics and genomics on screen

21st December 2020

Excerpt from blog:

As many people slow down for a festive break, Dr Jonathan Roberts considers presentations of genomics in five popular films

For lots of us, the Christmas break is a time for food, fun and festive films in front of the fire. We will inevitably end up watching our fair share of films, but have you ever considered how many of them explore ideas about genetics, DNA and heredity?

Presentations of genetic conditions and ideas about genes and DNA are commonplace in popular culture, at worst as gimmicks or ‘amusing’ plot devices that can be a source of dangerous misinformation. But popular culture should be considered a help, not a hindrance; something to work with rather than fighting against. In this new genomic era, scientists, policy makers and healthcare professionals can draw on popular culture to initiate and take part in conversations about genomics, says researcher and genetic counsellor Dr Jonathan Roberts.

Related Link:


Roberts J (2020) Genetics and genomics on screen. [Blog] Genomics Education Programme, Health Education England. [Online] 21 December. Available at:   [Accessed: 22 December 2020]