Future Debates: Genome Data Privacy

The West Midlands branch of the the British Science Association are hosting a debate on genome data privacy. Want to know why? Watch this video.

A genome is an entire set of DNA; all the instructions for making every part of a living thing. Research into our genomes could improve our understanding of diseases, cancers and passing on certain traits. This research is called genomic medicine.

Genomic medicine is evolving quickly, and data is being collected on a group of patients with rare diseases and cancers across the UK. There’s large potential for the technology to help us create new treatments and preventative approaches.

Someone’s genome can explain lots of things about them, and we don’t yet understand all of what the genetic code means. This information therefore needs to be collected and stored securely, interpreted by experts and viewed in a way that protects the donor’s identity. There have been discussions among scientists about the implications of genomic medicine for privacy and the NHS, and the British Science Association believes that it is vital to open that conversation up to the public.

Location: Bodega Bar & Cantina, 12 Bennett’s Hill, Birmingham B2 5RS, UK

Date and Time:  17th August 2016. Doors open from 17:30 for the AGM, 18:00 General Admission with the debate to run from 18:30 until 20:00. This event is suitable for 16+ and the option of continued discussion afterwards in The Great Expectations next door is open to all.

Click here to register for free tickets.


Follow us on twitter @WestMidScience and use the event hashtag #FutureDebates

Future Debates events are part of the British Science Association’s work to make science a fundamental part of British society and culture. We want to empower many more people – not just scientists – to constructively engage in debates over the applications and implications of science in their lives, their local economy and the UK’s future.


Collated, anonymised data from the Future Debates series will be provided to the Chief Medical Officer for the purpose of informing policy about Genome Data Privacy. The event will not be recorded, nor will any individual be identifiable in any of this information.