Genomics, Public Trust and Engagement Roundtable 1: Setting the Scene: What Do We Already Know Regarding Public Trust and Engagement in Genomics?
As the cost of genomic sequencing is decreasing, and more and more researchers, states and institutions are leveraging genomic data to inform the biology of disease, it is difficult to deny that the reach of genomics is now truly global. The UK is a global leader in genomics and trust. This, therefore, presents a unique opportunity for the United Kingdom (UK) to lead the way in actively engaging the disengaged, and increase public engagement, awareness and trust in the benefits genomics and participation in genomic research. It is the aim of this programme therefore, to design and deliver an effective engagement and communications strategy. The primary focus of this series is, how do we drive transformative change with regards to how people engage with genomics. The driving question of this project shall therefore be, how do we engage the disengaged?
The ways that leaders engage with clinicians and researchers is going to be increasingly important in the years ahead. In taking this into account, this project will be built upon considering who must be engaged in genomics and how we ensure they become actively engaged. Therefore, the following key questions will aid in the guiding of how the project progresses and the building of the communications framework and strategy to be produced in the end.
- How do we reshape the myths around genomics and DNA, and reset the conversation for success?
- How can we best set the genomics community to embrace innovative and ex-science methods and approaches that might engage the disengaged?
- How can we use the insights and learnings of others – learning from those also existing in the space where trusted brokerage and the social contract between people and providers?
- How do we learn what triggers their disengagement? Taking into consideration for example, historic grievance, institutional prejudice, inappropriate framings, exclusive language, belief systems, etc. the things that lead to them to thinking ‘not for me’ or, more detrimentally, acting against us.
- How do we embrace the influencers in society and culture as whole and those in their communities and world particularly in a way that can help us reach them?
 Sheth M et al., Collaborative Genomics Projects: A Comprehensive Guide (Elsevier, 2016).
*Please note, this roundtable is invitation only. However, if you work or have an expertise in the subject, please do get in touch and register your interest with us. Please contact project lead Anna Dickinson at email@example.com*