This presentation and group exercise explores the role of metaphor and language in public engagement with genomics using a creative group approach to reflect on the cultural contexts of genomics.

"You don’t see something until you have the right metaphor to let you perceive it."

Robert Shaw, Physicist

Engaging People with Genetics and Genomics

During the 2017 Wellcome International Engagement Workshop, engagement practitioner and Wellcome Trust Engagement Fellow, Bella Starling took the stage to share learning from her work engaging communities with the complex science and culture of genetics and genomics. This work has included running engagement activities with students in schools, patients with genetic disorders in hospitals and the general public in science festivals, as well as finding ways to feed patient views directly into genetics research.

In the video below Bella further explores these projects and highlights the knowledge base and attitudes towards genetics and genomics in the UK and how metaphor can be used as a powerful tool to engage many audiences in all settings with the subject.

Caption: Bella Starling, Wellcome Trust Engagement Fellow, introduces her work using metaphor to engage people with genomics

Download the presentation [PPTX 5400 KB]

A Participatory Exercise on the use of Metaphor

As part of the workshop session led by Bella Starling, participants were asked to take part in a participatory exercise to explore the use of metaphor in genetics and genomics engagement and some of the cultural factors that surround it. This exercise can easily be replicated in your setting by using the slides below.

Download the Slides Introducing the Exercise [PPTX 1600KB]

Caption: A participatory activity on how to use metaphor to reflect on the cultural contexts of genomics is introduced and participants from the 2017 Wellcome Trust International Engagement Workshop read out their groups' end products from the activity.

The content on this page forms part of the online report for the 2017 International Engagement Workshop "It's Complicated: navigating scientific complexity in public and community engagement". To read more about metaphor and visualisation in engagement visit the metaphor and visualisation theme from the workshop. To read more about complexity in genetics and genomics engagement visit the genetics and genomics theme from the workshop. To read more about the full workshop and access the rest of the report including video presentations, discussion summaries, and tools, visit the workshop page.

Creative Commons License

This work, unless stated otherwise, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License


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