From Genetic Counselling, Ethics, Nursing, Society

World Congress on Genetic Counselling 2017

Co-designed by the Society and Ethics Research Group - congress by genetic counsellors for genetic counsellors

World Congress on Genetic Counselling 2017

4th October 2017

In October 2017 a long-standing ambition was realised – to develop and deliver a World Congress on Genetic Counselling. Anna Middleton invited her genetic counselling colleagues Dr Chris Patch (2017 President of the European Society of Human Genetics) and Dr Barb Biesecker (NIH international expert in genetic counselling) to be on the Steering Committee for the Congress. The 3 day conference was expertly organised and managed by two other partners from within the Connecting Science family (Advanced Courses and Scientific Conferences and Conference Centre). 220 delegates from 24 different countries the audience were brought together by their shared interest in the psychological and emotional impact of genomics and how to better understand the techniques to communicate genomic information to publics, patients and wider society.

With members of the audience representing most of the leading professional bodies for genetic counsellors across the world we were pleased that the Congress met an unmet need in showcasing the latest empirical research relevant to practice. See here for a blog summarising the event.

Feedback from delegates:

“The keynote and invited speakers were excellent–the talks complemented one another and interdigitated to drive home central themes and important areas for future research. For a relatively large international meeting, there was a feeling of intimacy due to a shared purpose, mutual respect and admiration for a variety of perspectives. The discussion panels were particularly effective towards the end, focusing on common priorities and potential threats to the profession going forward. Thank you to Wellcome for sponsoring this remarkable scientific conference.”

“This was an excellent conference on all levels. From the very kind and patient pre-conf organisation, on-site organisation, the very high quality of presentations and content of presentations, good flow of the programme, the good food, good accommodations and just great group!! thank you!!!”

“Programme was very high quality as were the presentations – because everyone went to all the same sessions this contributed to having lots of shared discussion with everyone.”

“The programme, high quality presentation, relevant, meaningful content… this was fabulous! the rest was also very very good, but this was the most valuable for me. I go to a lot of meetings, and this is an outstanding meeting!!”

“It’s not often you come away feeling that the conference might have bought about a change in thinking across a discipline, which this conference did.”

“No other conference aimed at genetic counselling comes close to what this meeting achieved. The profession is largely clinical and so there are fewer investigators. Accordingly, most meetings address the needs of clinicians. The WCGC has the most potential overlap with the biennial EMPAG meeting. However the later is attended primarily by social and behavioral scientists who study genomics but most are not genetic counsellors. The WCGC focused on genetic counsellors conducing research, but at the same time embraced research by investigators outside the profession who are addressing important topics in the field.”

“Well chosen talks, great networking, beautiful place, well organised.”



Connecting Science 2017, World Congress on Genetic Counselling, 4 - 6 October. Wellcome Genome Campus, Cambridge, UK