Socialising the Genome

'Geno-what'? Most people have never heard of the term genomics before; we explored how to make it resonate. What social framings, metaphors and memes could we find that turn it into a conversation starter?

There are thousands of films out there that can give you the science of DNA, genetics and genomics, we explored how to create films that do something different.

Our aim was to help shape and inspire everyday conversations that, whilst still rooted in the science, resonated with people. We wanted to know how to make ‘genomics’ click for people who may not know anything about it yet.

The whole point of doing this is because genomic technology is fast becoming part of routine healthcare, i.e. information from our DNA is being used to predict, diagnose and manage health and disease. Whilst you may think – is this really relevant to me? It actually is. The thing is, DNA is a family affair – so whilst you may not be planning on using healthcare services in the near future, people you are related to just might. Information they learn from their DNA could be relevant to you too. We think everyone deserves to have a headsup on what genomics is all about. 

Each film we have created has a scientific insight at the core of it; this is based on information we gathered by interviewing members of the British public (social science academics done by Dr Anna Middleton). The themes from these interviews were developed, explored and overlaid with a creative story (communication industry expertise from Julian Borra).

The films were evaluated via an online survey and rated highly for information content, interest and likability. They are now used as part of Public Engagement materials via Genomics England and appear on the websites of various Genomic Medicine Centres. The films are free for anyone to use and are designed as a tool to help start a conversation about genomics.

Click here to open a new window where you can download all of the Socialising the Genome videos

The original video/survey website