Personal Genetics and Education

Saturday, February 16, 2013
Room 203 (Hynes Convention Center)
Ting Wu , Harvard University, Boston, MA
We have found that the topics of personal genetics, personal choice, and personal integrity rarely ever fail to electrify an audience regardless of whether the participants are knowledgeable about the science of genetics or not. Young teenagers entering a classroom determined not to listen to yet another lecture will become engaged within minutes, while adults, long out of school and adamant that genetics is far beyond them, will find their voice and conviction. Can we harness this capacity of genetics to rivet an audience and use it to accelerate nation- and world-wide education so that all our communities can be fully prepared for the era of personal genetics? What are the key genetic concepts to convey? Can we promote an awareness that is accessible across all demographics, blind to socio-economic status and cultural and religious background? How quickly can we accomplish this task? Based on our experience, there is plenty of reason for optimism.