Should you share your DNA data?

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October 24, 2018 @ 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Reading Quaker (Friends) Meeting House
2 Church St
Reading RG1 2SB



What are the benefits and risks of a medical system that uses genomic data. How should it be stored and who should have access? Should everyone’s DNA be analysed at birth? And is there a duty to donate your genome, like we do with blood and organs?

It’s time to join the debate.

Our speakers

To introduce you to the subject, we have a panel that really knows their stuff! These folks can cover it all, from the use of genetics in medicine to how the law could change to protect our genetic data. You can also find out first hand what it’s like to take part in the biggest genetic study of people in the world.

Dr Ed Blair 
Clinical Director of the Oxford NHS Genomic Medicine Centre

Professor Anneke Lucassen 
Professor of Clinical Genetics, Clinical Ethics and Law Unit, Faculty of Medicine, University of Southampton

Nancy Molyneaux 
Participant in the 100,000 Genomes Project

Want to know more? We have prepared some background information that you can browse at your leisure! 
Read our summary here

Coordinated by British Science Association and Sponsored by Genomics England

About Future Debates

The British Science Association believes that science is a part of our everyday lives and that everyone should feel confident to talk about and be included in these topics. We want to empower everyone – not just scientists – to engage in conversation over science’s role in their own lives, their local economy, and the UK as a whole.

To make sure these conversations are happening at a local level, we are working with Genomics England to run a series of debates across the country, looking at specific topics relevant to today. Each year, Future Debates will focus on a particular issue.

This year’s topic: “Should you share your DNA data?”

Across the UK, the National Health Service is preparing to start using DNA data as part of the treatment and services we receive from our doctors. This could mean huge improvements in the way the NHS prevents and treats illness, but it relies on large numbers of people sharing their full set of DNA for research.

Meanwhile, the Cambridge Analytica scandal has laid bare the lengths to which companies will go to turn a profit from our data. We now live in an age when an unprecedented amount of data is collected about our lives, and this data is not a finite resource – there are infinite ways to analyse and predict our potential future actions and desires from it.

How do you feel about the most personal information of all – your DNA sequence and health data – being stored along with millions of others? How would you want it to be stored, and by whom? Do we have a duty to share our DNA to improve healthcare?


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