This project has finished, you are welcome to still view and use the films we made to socialise genomics. For more up to date information about our work please do explore our website.
There are thousands of films out there that can give you the science of DNA, genetics and genomics, we are creating films that do something different.
Our aim is to help shape and inspire everyday conversations that, whilst still rooted in the science, resonate with people. We want 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).
We now want to know if the films we’ve created help DNA, genes and genomics become a more ‘social’ concept – i.e. something that everyday people feel they can relate to.
Wellcome Genome Campus
Does the social science research and oversees the project.
Thin Air Factory
Frames and creates the storytelling and scripts the animations.
Develops the digital side of things on web site development and management.
The Madell Partnership
Gathers feedback on the animations from representatives of the British public.
The research is being conducted and managed by Dr Anna Middleton, Principal Staff Scientist (social science and ethics), Wellcome Genome Campus, Cambridge, UK. Anna is an experienced social scientist who designed this project. She is gathering the attitudes, beliefs and understanding about genetics from members of the public. This is being done in two stages: firstly via Focus Groups and then via survey data gathered through this website.
The insights gathered from the Focus Groups were discussed extensively with Julian Borra, creative director from Thin Air Factory. Julian added a more creative, ‘emotional’ framing and flavour to the outcomes from the Focus Groups and overlaid a narrative grounded in more ‘social’ concepts. We want to know how to start a conversation about genomics with people who know nothing about genomics. These animations are our first evidence-based attempt to do this. The experience gained from this project will be used to guide some of the public engagement activities for Genomics England and their work on the 100,000 Genomes Project in the National Health Service.
The Steering Group that guides this project includes: Vivienne Parry (Genomics England), Katrina Nevin-Ridley (Genomics England), Dr Julian Rayner (Wellcome Genome Campus), Dr Amy Sanders (Wellcome).
Wellcome Genome Campus
Home to some of the world’s foremost institutes and organisations in genomics and computational biology, committed to delivering life-changing science. Cambridge, UK
Owned by the Department of Health, facilitates the creation of new a genomic medicine service with the NHS – to support better diagnosis and better treatments for patients
An independent global charitable foundation dedicated to improving health, because good health makes life better. London, UK
This research is funded by a joint partnership between the Wellcome Genome Campus, Wellcome Trust and Genomics England and has received Research Ethics Committee approval from the West Midlands Solihull Research Ethics Committee.