The CPM organised a panel debate entitled “Your Genome and Your Health” at the Cheltenham Science Festival on 7th June 2014. Professor Peter Donnelly, Director of the Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics, set the scene before he was joined for a panel discussion by the CPM’s Director Dr Ingrid Slade and Mark Henderson, Director of Communications at the Wellcome Trust and former Science Editor of The Times. Chaired by Dr Gabriele de Luca, a member of the CPM’s steering group, the team tackled questions about the challenges of integrating genomic and biomedical research with clinical practice and discussed the difficulties of managing personal data alongside the ethical implications for society in this emergent field of medical science.
Scientists from Professor Donnelly’s research centre also ran demonstrations in the interactive science space – The Discover Zone – attracting around 1000 visitors daily. Children chatted with scientists, exploring their research with the aid of interactive science displays and hearing what inspired them to pursue a scientific career. Principles of genetics were explained with the help of helices made from sweets, DNA was extracted from fruit and an understanding of population genetics and genetic variance was brought to life with a taste test to determine whether or not you were a ‘super taster’.