Genomics holds great promise, but it also confronts us with new questions.
Genomics has made rapid advancements over the past decades, yet there are still many questions to which scientists seek answers. Past experience has shown that society has genuine concerns over how biotechnology may impact our healthcare, food safety and quality, and the environment.
It is important to keep genomics in the public consciousness as the science evolves. It is equally important to integrate stakeholder input into the research to identify societal needs and acceptable applications of these technologies.
The more informed society is on the challenges it faces, the more it will prosper. Providing all citizens with fact based information and presenting the pros and cons of evolving technologies is required for the kind of thoughtful decision-making needed to develop and inform policy that will help realize the benefits of genomics.
We believe research beyond the application of genomics to a specific project or product, is as important as the genomics research itself. For example, the study of the societal impacts of genomics has always been a required component in Genome Canada’s large-scale applied research project funding.
In addition, Genome BC has developed its own unique programs to address this important area of research — genomics and the ethical, economic, environmental, legal and societal implications (commonly referred to as GE3LS).