A few days ago, I encountered a new, fascinating article that sheds light on the disparity between 'what we say' and 'what people hear' when discussing genomics and healthcare with underrepresented communities. Namely, 🌍 genomic datasets have predominantly represented white, Northern European populations, highlighting the urgent need to break down barriers for diverse participation in genomic medicine. 🗣️ Positive framing of genomics, focusing on potential benefits, was met with cynicism and scepticism due to historical inequalities and misinformation, resulting in mistrust of healthcare systems and authorities. 🧪 Researchers from Welcome Connecting Science, Genomics England, and Maslansky + partners engaged with diverse communities, conducting focus groups with 100 participants from various backgrounds, including those historically underrepresented in genomics. 🤝 Their findings emphasize the importance of acknowledging and addressing existing inequalities and concerns before delving into the science of genomics, ensuring everyone has equal access to its benefits. What we can learn from this research results? 💡 Effective communication means meeting your audience where they are, particularly on complex topics like genomics and healthcare.
👏 Kudos to my dear friend, Vivienne Parry OBE, Head of Public Engagement at Genomics England, and the entire research team for this groundbreaking piece of science engagement research.