What are the implications of findings from genomic research for social policy?

Kathryn Asbury, Tom McBride, Rosanna Bawn

Research output: Working paperPreprint


AbstractAs genetic research into outcomes beyond health gathers pace, largely through the use of GenomeWide Association Studies, interest from policymakers has grown. In the last year twoUK reports have explored the policy implications of genomic research, one from the UK Government Office for Science and one from the Early Intervention Foundation. In this article we explore areas of consensus between these two reports and use them to propose priorities for policymakers as we prepare for what some have termed a ‘genetic revolution’. Both reports agree on two clear recommendations for science and policy communities. One of these relates to public education and engagement and the other to ensuring that genomic databases are ancestrally diverse. Both reports agree that - even if it is found to be a viable and ethical idea in the medium-term future - DNA data should not be incorporated into social policy before these two issues have been comprehensively addressed. In the article we argue that scientists are taking the lead on tackling the diversity deficit but that there is a clear role for policymakers to play in addressing low genetic literacy in society, and that this is a matter of urgency.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherPsyArXiv Preprints
Number of pages24
Publication statusPublished - 4 Jul 2022

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