Personal Genetics Education Project

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December 2020

ONLINE – Meeting the Moment: How can scientists contribute to a broad conversation on genetics and society?

December 8, 2020, 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

This is the launch event of our partnership with the Genetics Society of America to build public dialogue about genetic technologies. Please click here to learn more about this project and to register for this event.

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March 2021

ONLINE – Inclusive Public Engagement for Geneticists: Discussing the History of Eugenics

March 10, 2021, 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm

The history of genetics is deeply entwined with the eugenics movement. Some fear that today’s genetic advances, despite the great potential for societal benefits, could lead to a new era of eugenics. How can geneticists invite inclusive discussions on this important topic in our classrooms, labs, and communities? Join pgEd to learn about their experiences and strategies for engaging with broad audiences — from high school students to communities of faith — in sensitive conversations about genetics and the history…

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ONLINE – Class for “Social Issues in Biology” course at Harvard

March 11, 2021, 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm

The pgEd team will be leading an online session at the “Social Issues in Biology” course at Harvard University titled “Engaging Diverse Publics on Issues in Genetics.” This is a discussion-based course focusing on controversial issues in biology and the social responsibility of scientists. Students in this class are drawn from PhD programs across biology-related disciplines as well as from other programs such as law, bioethics and education.

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April 2021

ONLINE – Inclusive Public Engagement for Geneticists: Discussing Reproductive Genetics

April 14, 2021, 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm

Reproductive genetic technologies, including preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) and non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT), can allow people to learn more about the DNA of an embryo or fetus than ever before. For some people, genetic testing in reproductive healthcare provides an important decision-making tool; for some, these tests raise a suite of practical, ethical, moral, and religious questions. And the advent of CRISPR is bringing hopes for a new generation of genetic therapies as well as concerns that germline editing could…

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May 2021

ONLINE – Inclusive Public Engagement for Geneticists: Discussing Genome Editing and the Environment

May 12, 2021, 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm

The emergence of genome editing technologies, such as CRISPR, have opened new possibilities for engineering the world around us. Scientists are considering ways to apply these tools to address agricultural and environmental issues – modifying crops (for herbicide tolerance, drought resistance, and so on), gene drives to counter vector-borne diseases (e.g., malaria), and even reviving extinct species. Some hail the use of these approaches, while others worry about unintended consequences of these ecosystem-changing actions. Join pgEd to learn about their…

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October 2021

ONLINE – Humanity in Deep Space

October 20, 2021, 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

pgEd’s Director, Dr. Ting Wu, will be discussing the intersection of genetics and space travel at a webinar organized by Humanity in Deep Space on “Are We Really Built for Space?”. Ting, who also directs the Consortium for Space Genetics at Harvard Medical School (MIT), will be joined by panelists, Dr. George Church (HMS/MIT) and Dr. Christopher Mason (Weill Cornell Medicine). The discussion will be moderated by Kris Kimel, who is the Founder of Humanity in Deep Space and Co-founder…

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ONLINE – National Human Genome Research Institute webinar

October 28, 2021, 9:30 am - 10:30 am

Marnie will be presenting a webinar to faculty and trainees in the Social and Behavioral Research Branch of the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The webinar will focus on pgEd's experiences and programs raising awareness and conversation about genetics and genomics. Thank you to Dr. Chris Gunter, who runs a research program on science communication and public engagement, for inviting pgEd to share our work!

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February 2022

ONLINE – Discussing Genetics: a mini-course on how to foster engaging, sensitive, and inclusive conversations – GSA

February 23 - March 9

Broad public engagement on genetics is urgently needed, as discovery in the field of genetics rapidly accelerates. Emerging technologies bring great promise to improve human health and well-being. Yet, research is outpacing the rate at which people can navigate new decisions they and their loved ones face. The frequency and complexity of these decision-making moments are increasing against a backdrop of social inequities and distrust of science. The aim of this mini-course is to expand scientists’ skills and confidence for…

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May 2022

ONLINE – Inclusive Public Engagement for Geneticists: Building meaningful community partnerships, Co-creating educational programs that engage deaf and ASL-signing students

May 10, 11:30 am - 1:00 pm

Public engagement requires us to interrogate our language and the thinking behind it. What ideas are embedded in our language about genetics? What messages are we sending? How are people being impacted? In approaching these questions with humility, we have an opportunity to dismantle barriers that are excluding people from engaging with genetics, learn about assumptions that can cause harm, and create inclusive environments in our labs and classrooms. Join pgEd for a program with our colleagues from Gallaudet University…

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September 2022

Discussing Genetics: Science Engagement with Faith Communities

September 29, 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm

Join us for an interactive virtual workshop for scientists on engaging with communities of faith. This session will be led by our colleague, Dr. Rob O’Malley, project director for the Dialogue on Science, Ethics, and Religion (DoSER) program of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Register today! Participants will: learn how culture, including religion and spirituality, are important considerations for inclusive public engagement with science; consider and discuss evidence-based best practices for science engagement; and apply the…

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