From Socialising the Genome

“Socialising the Genome” at the European Human Genetics Conference 2016

Anna presented "Socialising the Genome" at the annual European Society of Human Genetics conference held in Barcelona, Spain

“Socialising the Genome” at the European Human Genetics Conference 2016

23rd May 2016

Anna presented her findings from Socialising the Genome during the plenary session entitled “From Public Understanding to Education Professionals”


“Socialising the Genome”

Anna Middleton, J. Borra, K. Nevin-Ridley, V. Parry, A. Sanders, J. Rayner;
Cambridge, United Kingdom

How to start a conversation about genomics with people who may know nothing about it? This is particularly relevant for patients involved in the 100,000 Genomes Project, a landmark new UK sequencing project taking place within the National Health Service. We aimed to ‚socialise‘ genomics for participants and their families using an innovative method that combines evidence from social science with creative story telling as used by the advertising industry. We have done this through the use of animations designed to get patients talking with their families or health professionals. Through insights gained from five focus groups with membership drawn from the British public, we were able to develop core themes on which to base our animations. Using the creative skills of a senior advertising director from an established advertising company the themes were turned into six narratives. These delivered information about genomics using metaphors and cultural context, as opposed to scientific text or drawings. Feedback on each of the animations will be presented from a representative British public group of 500 people as well as from 1,000 participants and publics. The six novel, evidence-based animations will be used as part of a public engagement campaign for Genomics England. We will show our open access animations in our presentation. They are freely available for anyone to use, irrespective of where they live in the world.



Middleton A, Borra J, Parry V, Nevin-Ridley K, Sanders A, Rayner J (2016) Socialsing the Genome. European Society of Human Genetics, 23rd May, Barcelona, Spain. Spoken presentation.