With the field of genetics moving quickly, it is challenging for societal conversations to keep pace. In response, pgEd has been expanding our initiatives to inform and engage people from all walks of life. We have grown organically through the enthusiasm of the people we have met and invitations to collaborate. And, seeking out strategies for moving faster, we have brought together leaders from diverse professional backgrounds at conferences, including GETed conferences (2012 & 2013), the Industry Forum (2016), and CRISPRcon 2018. These meetings have inspired our work in many ways – our Congressional briefings, collaborations with television and film, and partnerships with faith communities. Still, genetic tools are entering societal use faster than ever, and it is clear that the need for scaling public engagement has never been more urgent.
Coordinated response: a genetics consortium dedicated to engaging with communities.
pgEd has launched a consortium of science institutions to work with our communities to expand awareness and conversation about the potential benefits and harms of personal genetics. Our first project as a group has been working with WETA and public broadcasting stations across the United States to expand awareness and conversation on personal genetics, in conjunction with their documentary, The Gene: An Intimate History. Our consortium continues to grow, as pgEd and our partners seek to establish a coordinated network of sister organizations.