The DNA Dialogue
Faculty of Clinical Genetics, Erasmus University Medical Centre Rotterdam
Should we tinker with embryo DNA? Researchers within the DNA Dialogue series have been publicly discussing that and other issues since January 2019. The aim of the dialogue is always mutual learning, i.e. exchanging perspectives, being curious, and seeing whether participants can learn from one another.
From community centres to festivals and from hospitals to schools, a wide variety of venues are used for the DNA dialogues; this is apparent from the diversity of participants. Professionals (embryologists, fertility specialists, midwives) as well as schoolchildren and interested parties, but also random passers-by – young and old – are all involved in discussions on adapting embryo DNA. Because the researchers think it’s important “for everyone to be heard and seen”, they utilise low-threshold media when explaining and for the discussions, such as scenario films and smiley cards. They have also developed learning packs for primary and secondary schools. Insights gained from the DNA dialogues provide policymakers with guidelines for future policymaking and are pointers for further communication about genetic modification of embryo DNA.
The grant from Rewarded! will be used to develop and organise more dialogues, including with groups that are difficult to reach. The funds will also be used for communication activities with scientists and students taking the “Genetics in Society” minor.
Diewertje Houtman, onderzoeker
Other group members:
Sam Riedijk, onderzoeker, universitair docent
Boy Vijlbrief, promovendus